Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gratitude Journal

We keep Thanksgiving pretty simple in our home. It's just the four of us but we all look forward to a day of being together with no other commitments, good food and later that afternoon a trip to the movies. It's become a tradition we all enjoy. To add to that day, I've been wanting create a holiday keepsake that as a family we could contribute to each Thanksgiving. I thought it might be nice if this year I created a gratitude journal. I think it's important to keep it simple so that it's not a chore but instead a small activity to do together before the meal. My plan is for each family member to have a page with their photo and a simple journal entry from them about what they are thankful for and anything else they'd like to share that year. No rules, no fuss...just a moment to record how we are grateful for all that we have together as a family.

Since I've yet to make a fabric covered mini album/journal, I saw this as my chance to give it whirl. I also wanted to play around with stamping on fabric and mixing paper with fabric and trim in a fun way.
To make the cover and back of the journal, I cut 2 - 6"x8" pieces of thin chipboard. It's important that it be thin enough to machine stitch through and to add eyelets. I also cut 2 - 6"x8" pieces of fusible fleece to give the cover a little bit of a quilted look. I cut the fabric larger (2 - 8" x 10" pieces of muslin) and then stamped my images onto the fabric.

I layered the fusible fleece onto the back of the fabric and ironed the stamped side to secure the fleece. This also heat set the ink in the process. I added my thin chipboard to the back of the fleece and wrapped the excess fabric around the edges and corners. I added a few stitches at the corners to tighten the wrap and further secure the fabric from slipping.

Once all the corners were done, I machine stitched 1/8" around the edge of each piece (front and back covers) twice.

At this point, I created a few embellishments to dress up my journal.
-The paper flower: The leaves were punched, inked, distressed and machine stitched in place. The flower is a stack of graduated punched circles that were also inked and distressed. I layered and adhered them together slightly off-center so that the different patterns and colors could still show through. I used a paper pierce tool to punch holes in the center and added the button with embroidery thread with a large needle tying the thread behind the chipboard.

-The mini blue ribbon flower: This is made using regular thread and needle stitching along one edge of the length of ribbon - about 2 1/2" long. Then gather the thread to cinch the ribbon into a circular shape. I adhered it to the cover with an adhesive square and added the gem to the center.

-The lace trim: With this I weaved the 3/8" wide ribbon through the lace, wrapped it around the cover and machine stitched across the center of the ribbon several times to secure it in place.
-The heart stamp: I created a stamp like square with pattern papers and scallop decorative scissors. I stitched it onto the cover and added punches and other embellishments.
I also added other buttons, a decorative brad to the mix as well as the printed strips of cardstock.

Once my embellishments were complete, I covered the back side of each cover with a 6" x 8" piece of cardstock to hide all the stitching and brad prongs. I adhered this with the permanent adhesive squares.

I punched holes in both the front and back covers and added red eyelets for the binder rings as well a few orange 1/8" eyelets just for fun. I kept the back cover simple with stamping only and the red eyelets for the binder rings, but this could also be more embellished if you choose. I tied several ribbon strips - each about 6" long - to the top binder ring.

The pages are slightly less than 6" x 8" and have holes punched in alignment to fit the rings. In the example page I'll be using for my own entry, I kept the decorating to a minimum. I adhered a piece of black cardstock (a bit larger than wallet size) as my photo mat and stamped journaling lines as well as adding a few paper accents to brighten it up.

As I've mentioned, each family member will get a page to decorate. I'll place the black cardstock photo mat and add the stamped journal lines but otherwise they can decorate and embellish as they like. It can be short and sweet or as elaborate as they please. I'm certain my kids will have a field day adding all sorts of things whereas my husband will keep it pretty simple.

I'm looking forward to one day looking back at this journal when we have several years' worth of entries. I think it will be a treat to especially see how the kids' entries change and grow. I know it will be something I treasure and hopefully will become a new Thanksgiving tradition for our family.

Supply List:
October Afternoon - Weathervane patterned papers
Bo Bunny - SWAK iCandy Brad
Bazzill - Kraft cardstock
Clearsnap Chalk Ink - Bisque, Ice Blue, Chestnut Roan
Staz-On Ink - Timber Brown (or textile ink)
Glue Arts - Permanent Adhesive Squares (these worked great with the fabric!)
Muslin or other cotton fabric: 2 - 8 x 10 pieces
Fusible Fleece; fabric trim/lace; ribbon; eyelets; assorted buttons; 3 binder rings; gems; mini brads; black embroidery thread

Bo Bunny - Fancy Frills and Write On! Acrylic Stamps
Fiskars Americas - Round 'n Round, That's Amore and Mint Condition Squeeze Punches; Scallop Paper Edger Scissors and Eyelet Hole Punch/Setters


Lindsey @ Inspiring Creations said...

That is so cute! I love the cicle flower. What a great way to show what you're thankful for.

mustangkayla said...

Beautiful journal! Fabulous work!

Julia said...! What an absolutely beautiful album! I love everything from start to finish. And what a great keepsake too! Small, simple Thanksgiving's we've come to learn are equally special.;-)

Erin Bassett said...

Gorgeous! You did a fabulous job!

Stacey S said...

this is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! in love with it, Patti!

Wati Basri said...


Katie Scott Scrapbooking said...

I love this! I'm scrap-lifting it for a Gratitude Jar to bring to Thanksgiving this year.