Author Archives: Summercrafter

Ways to Personalize DIY Junk Journals

February 14th 2018

I love junk journals. I was introduced to them through the 30 Days of Lists Challenge and Monika from   I love it all shop. While I am tempted to buy everything in her shop, I especially love to use her $10 variety junk journals because they are the perfect size and length for a week long vacation. Add an embellishment kit or two and I have all I need to do a little crafting and memory keeping while I am away from home.  Monika has the best stuff! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Get your own here or here.

junk journals from I love it all shop them embellished

(Two of my Vacation Junk Journals. They come pre-assembled and I decorated and added details using embellishment kits from Monika’s shop and various other stickers and ephemera kits)


While I am not new to creating from my stash, this year it’s MANDATORY!

junk journals for listing

Junk Journals for listing: The one on the left I made, the one on the right is from I Love it All Shop rebound with rings because it got too chunky.

For 2018, I made a goal to #usewhatihave and pull from my own stash for any creative project I wanted to make. This is a way to practice contentment, save money and use the crafty goodness I have collected over the years, and there is plenty. Here is my first project following the #usewhatihave concept. I piggy backed on the junk journals I love from Monika’s shop and made these chunky junk journals. The first was pretty spontaneous in its conception and all of them were so fun to make.

diy junk journal

2018 and striped tag from I love it all shop.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I knew I wanted to make something special to celebrate a new friendship because, well, GAL-entine’s day of course! I had been collecting calendar pages  and sorting them by topic.

The wheels always start spinning when I’m trying to sleep, so naturally, I had to get up and do something about it. That first night, I decided a junk journal would be perfect and worked on it, assembled the pages choosing patterns and textures and trimming pages to size. A chunky journal is eclectic and random and full of variety so the process, from beginning to end, is new, moment by moment. I love that! There was no plan at this point other than just making a junk journal with the calendar pages.

junk journal pages


Over the next several days, a thematic order took shape as to what I wanted to include in it based on our friendship. I looked forward to working on it daily as I added details, and worked with what I had in my stash, adding embellishments and personalizing it wherever I could.

There is a page that tells how we became friends.

junk journal pages

Friendship quotes and bible verses throughout, we share our faith so this was perfect to include. There’s one tucked into that envelope pocket on the right.

junk journal pages

Flip open that quote page above and she can write a list about those million little things that friendship means to her, see below.

diy junk journal page

One of my favorite pages is the last one with the map.

diy junk journal pages


Since we have never met in person, there is a page to record the dates of our first meeting,

our first selfie,

or writing out a little prayer.


Other pages are waiting for her pen to do the filling. Maybe some journaling, stories, or reflections she may want to jot down. A meal, a conversation, a summary or retelling of our time together, a ticketed event we attend together, the possibilities are endless!




Feel free to add embellishments to different parts of the page to even out the bulk. Don’t be afraid to tie ribbons or charms to the rings, it adds interest.

The more embellishments you add the chunkier it gets,

And you know what they say. “The chunkier the better!”


After this one, I worked on two more junk journals a bit smaller in scale. One for another friend adding personalized details for her about her great mothering, love for chocolate and the beach.

I also had the pleasure of making one for my daughter which included love notes, advice, fashion, make-up and ice cream. I can see how this can get addicting…

This project can take anywhere between 2-10 hours. It all depends how much time and effort you invest adding personal details, embellishments and layering. The best part is that it’s something unique to the receiver, they can go back over time to look it over and add to it, if desired. Since the books are bound with rings, it will be easy to add pages. So fun!

Are you a junk journal junkie?

What is it with me and creativity?

February 12th 2018

How did I get into this creativity path anyway?

Creativity always saved the day during all my school years. I remember winning an art contest in the third grade, I am the only witness to that. I was always encouraged by teachers to write,even through my Masters Degree.

During my teaching and librarian years creativity fueled my plans, displays, story telling and making those jobs fun. Fast forward to my 40s where the creative itch got too big to ignore.

I started a blog to document my creative projects and encourage myself to create and be accountable by posting about it regularly. (Enter Instagram, blogging stopped…until now)

Then this quote by Erma Bombeck “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. became a spiritual conviction for me that I really wasn’t using my God given talents to the extent that I could.

My problem is I like to create in many mediums, personalizing things with details is my favorite, but I also love to paper craft, sew, quilt, paint so choosing ONE THING for a business “Creating Passion to Profit” has been very challenging and am still trying to find the right path for me.

I did make some quilt patterns of which this Sea Horse is my best seller! I am still learning a lot about myself regarding how I am wired, my tendencies and triggers and I am making progress.

Meeting my “Use What I have” goal part 1

January 30th 2018

One of my AUDACIOUS goals for 2018 is to USE WHAT I HAVE. I have been buying fabric and craft supplies on a whim for years; and, it’s time I practice contentment and start using up all the crafty goodness I have stored up. The goodies range from fabric to ephemera paper bits and anything in between, get a glimpse of it all on my Instagram. I really do have plenty and frankly don’t have space for any more.

Punches, cards, stickers, embellishments, tags and trims, etc…

A few traps I have fallen into:

  • $1 section at Target
  • Dollar Stores
  • Office Supply aisles in Wal-mart
  • The journal/paper/pen sections in Marshalls and TJMaxx
  • and then there is Instagram.

Why Instagram? Instagram is chock full of destash and “what’s new” sales that aim to entice, and they do!  They supply that sense of urgency, that what they are selling “will run out,” “everyone wants it,” “it’s an out of print ‘something,'” or it’s simply “eye candy” that I. MUST. HAVE. (photo below)  While all those reasons have been valid at some point, and my stash of lovely purchases is proof, enough is enough!

Part of Bonnie and Camille stash, portion of entire fabric stash.

I am happy to say that I have put on my big girl pants and today, as of January 30th, I have done pretty well with my goal so far. Yesterday, I left a Dollar Tree unscathed by Valentine doilies, stickers and decorative boxes, bags and tissue paper. WOOT!!  It was a close call because the items were in my hands when I suddenly heard a reminder in my head telling me “NO!” (Thank you God!) I quickly dropped the items and made a B-line for the items I had come for: Foam boards and a plain box I can decorate, okay I also bought some Chocolate too.

Pens, Washi Tape and glues.

Now, this is not to say that I have gone on a complete spending fast. My Flair pens were drying out so I bought some more, after all, pens don’t last forever! And I got this great caddy for my Powersheets and all things GOALS related from Chrissy Hoot Designs on Instagram.This was necessary for order and success!

Another purchase I made was the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman after I saw the movie. There are also a few books in my Amazon cart but the frivolous compulsive spending has come to a screeching halt. There is a planned purchase I want to make for my birthday in May and a visit to Whim So Doodle scrap shop in St. Pete, FL while on vacation, but that’s it. I didn’t even get any gift cards over the holiday to any craft stores.


How do I intend to stay the course and USE WHAT I HAVE?

  1. Delete all emails and newsletters announcing new products or sales.
  2. Remove Etsy app from my phone.
  3. Avoid any and all craft stores.
  4. Dodge the journal and office supply aisles.
  5. Scroll right past the promoted sales on Instagram and limit social media time.
  6. When desperate, use “add to cart” option on (without checking out) helps.
  7. Use the “save for later” option on Amazon as needed.
  8. Stay away from swaps and giveaways too.

Christmas ephemera, journal cards, stamps, stickers, tags, embellishments and goodies from I love it all shop. (one of my weaknesses!)

One of the great benefits of working within the “limits” of using only what I have is how the creative process flourishes within these boundaries. It’s true! (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life Into a Work of Art by Erwin Rafael McManus) He explains how as God created the Universe and everything in it, with each creation came a boundary or a limit (land, sea, sky), yet the creation process continued in spectacular fashion (Check out some exotic fish and birds). When we choose to use only what we have on hand, the creative juices start flowing. It’s amazing how new ideas and methods are born and innovations come to light when options are few. The challenge is invigorating and I am loving the process.

Are you up for the challenge? Maybe your whim is clothes, tools, cookbooks, shoes, purses (I hear ya!), wine, costume jewelry? Go ahead give it try. Maybe just a week or a month. I promise exercising that muscle will feel good!

My Little Sunshine Blog Hop Reveal

August 28th 2017

Welcome to my day of the Blog Hop, where I finally get to reveal the secret sewing I’ve been up to. (click here for the other blog hop posts)

It’s been a week of suspense as we see the special project each of the blog hoppers  has made with My Little Sunshine, the new fabric line by Cherry Guidry of Cherry Blossoms Studio. I shared a bit about her on my last post here. She designs for Benartex  and her style is pretty, sweet and fun! This line is no different with a baby theme covering onesies, animals and the alphabet.

Right from the beginning I knew I wanted to make a diaper bag.

These prints and colors in My Little Sunshine play so well together I wanted to display that in some patchwork shown on the front pocket of the tote. I also used the extra charm squares to make a little changing mat.

It fits perfectly into the back pocket.

I was inspired when I added the detail to the pocket because Rick Rack makes anything cuter!

I tried new techniques I hadn’t done before like the gusset zipper and the outside binding. It definitely is far from perfect but I love the happy colors and functionality of zippers.

I used some of the selvage on the zipper pull, just for fun.

The duck print is my absolute favorite. I used it on the outside pocket, lining and for the straps which I made extra wide, because the bag is pretty big and will likely be heavy for moms toting little ones and all their gear.

I added my label to the straps. I had a general idea for the bag but as I played with the fabrics it kind of evolved as I went. No pattern or videos! It is completely lined and quilted and I used Shape Flex for the pockets to give it some body.

Cherry picked the perfect colors that work for baby boys or girls, add more pink for girls and more blue for boys! It was so fun playing with her new fabric line.

And to celebrate Benartex is giving away a Fat Quarter bundle of My Little Sunshine to a lucky winner! The deadline is August 30th, US addresses only please. Just leave a comment telling me what print do you remember from baby days? Perhaps some of Cherry’s fabric will jog your memory?

My fixation with the duck fabric comes for a dress my neighbor gave my daughter with darling little yellow ducks, we still have it!

Good luck on the giveaway!

Winners will be announced here please make sure your email shows from the comments so I can contact the lucky winner!

My Little Sunshine Blog Hop

August 21st 2017

Welcome to my teaser post about My Little Sunshine, the new fabric line by Cherry Guidry.

Who is Cherry Guidry? She is a fabulous designer for Benartex fabrics. Her fabrics are soft on the eyes, enchanting and whimsical. It was Quilt Market 2014 when I met Cherry, I was drawn into her booth because it was so bright and cheerful and ended up staying quite a while. She was kind enough to share her journey into the quilting world with me and we became fast friends.

Cherry Guidry

And speaking of bright and cheerful, her My Little Sunshine fabrics are adorable! The pleasant pastels in greens, blues, pinks, yellows and grays, feature all things “baby” plus elephants, monkeys and duckies, oh my!

My Little Sunshine

  It’s perfect for little nurseries for all the babies in your life. Cherry outdid herself creating with her new line (you may have spotted them at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis in May) see how she showcased her fabrics right here.

My Little Sunshine

I am so excited and honored to have been invited to be part of the Benartex Blog Hop featuring her new line, many other designers will also be sharing their projects using these lovelies, see schedule below.

Tuesday: Mary from Needled mom

Wednesday: Carol from Just let me quilt

Thursday: Erin from Avery Lane Designs

Friday: Free patterns from Sew in Love with Fabric

Monday: Me!

Tuesday: Annie from Annie Smith

Hop on over to Benartex fabrics for the blog hop kick off!