Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Winter Journal Tutorial

Hello December! Time to start documenting what we do in my December Daily journal. Today's project started out as a card and then turned into a chunky mini book to record winter photos and memories in. It's a Sizzix tutorial and a pretty long post. 

Layers of ink - Winter Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin
I love winter and snow and I thought I'd make a little book so that I am ready to record our winter. All I need to do is print photos and add journaling of our activities this winter. Pocket and envelope dies are some of my favourite dies and here I used the new Library Pocket and Mini Inserts & Envelopes, together with two thinlits sets. The stencils and stamps come from Hero Arts. I took some step photos, so let's start.

Start by die cutting enough pockets, pages and tags to fill the book. These shapes are all on the same XL die. I particularly like the rectangle to the right because it is a great base for mini book pages, or you can use it on cards or scrapbooking layouts. It's 5.8 x 4.1 in. I die cut them from watercolour paper. The XL dies works in the ordinary Big Shot or Vagabond, but you need the Extended Cutting Pads. I die cut six pockets and twelve pages.

For the covers I die cut two of the rectangular shapes from mat board, but I left one short end outside of the cutting pads, which meant that the die only cut three sides. In this way, I could make them a little longer (6.5 in).

Envelopes and inserts were die cut from the same paper. The two envelopes and inserts are on the same die.

All the pockets and a little more than half of the pages were coated with gesso. Some of the papers were only gessoed on one side. I was aiming for a variety of texture, but similar colours.

Paint all the gessoed papers with Distress Paint. I smeared the paint on my craft sheet, misted the paper with water and pressed it into the paint. You can also mist the paint with water instead - the reason I didn't was simply that my desk was very crowded and when you mist paint some of it tends to splatter.

When the paint was dry, I used various Hero Arts stencils and Texture Paste. Use a palette knife to apply the paste though the stencil. All the pockets were stenciled as well as two inside pages.

I also stenciled the two pages that I was planning to add to the front and back cover, with the Forest and the Star Snowflake stencil

The non-gessoed pages and the envelopes and inserts were misted, first with water and then with Antique Linen, Tumbled Glass and Pumice Stone Distress Spray Stain. I love these textures.

When the pages and pockets were dry, I stamped them with various stamps. On the misted papers, some of the stamps were misted with water after inking them, for a watercolour effect. The text, branches and snowflakes were stamped with Potting Soil ink. I also used one of my favourite Hero Arts stamps, the Tiny Star Background, and Sky Blue ink here and there on most of the pages.

I adhered a strip of natural sticky back canvas to the side of the covers and glued the front panel on top. The birches and snow were painted white, to make them a little whiter than the paste. Then I added details with Pumice stone and a little bit of dry-brushing with Tumbled Glass and Pumice Stone. For another example using this same stencil, check out my Mixed Media Winter Scene art journal page.

For some shine, I decided to use mica flakes (I love mica). It was sprinkled over Glossy Accents.

I also die cut a whole lot of small shapes to use as embellishments with the Whimsy & Delight, Floral Wreath, Awards and Carte Postale sets. The papers come from the Blue Bay pad by KaiserCraft.

The die cuts were stamped, both with the coordinating stamps, and with stamps by Hero Arts.

I assembled the envelopes and stamped them, the inserts and the skinny tags. The tiny animals and trees from the Winter Scene set are just wonderful. I also used them on this autumn layout.

If you look closely you can see that I added some white around the moon, to make it look like it is shining. I also painted a shadow to the one side of the trees, with Pumice Stone. For more Birch tree inspiration, check out my Winter Birch Trees tutorial.

The mica flakes look great against the texture paste snow.

Layers of ink - Winter Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin
Since winter has just started, I don't have many photos yet, but I added a few, to give you an idea of what the finished album will look like. I am happy to have found a hat with all kinds of wild cats for Leo, since he is our little lion.

All the pages were punched with my Crop-a-Dile. Since I punched the pockets, the papers in the pockets don't fit all the way in - that is why I had to make the covers of the album a little longer than the pages. This stencil is the Elegant Pine.

Since I love birds, there are of course birds in the album, and trees.

I glued some of the embellishments to the pages already, so I just need to add photos and journaling.

I like how water techniques gives such unpredictable results.

The envelopes were tied with twine. Isn't that just the cutest tiny deer?

If I need more space, I can always add more pages into the pockets.

The envelopes were placed on gessoed pages, to create more variation of texture.

This Weeks & Months stencils is one of my most used stencils. I hope you can see it, this photo is a little light.

Some of the skinny tags were glued onto pages, others were tucked into the pockets, like here.

I also tucked some of the envelopes into the pockets, while others were adhered to pages.

These trees were stamped with the Color Layering Christmas Tree set, and I like how the first Pumice Stone impression fades into the background, creating even more of a winter look.

Here you can see some of the pages that are tucked into the pockets.

All the envelopes contain insert papers for journaling, and the leftover ones were glued to pages.

I used Wonder Tape to adhere the envelopes to the pages.

I liked the combination of the gessoed and the misted pages.

And some more trees, these have three layers.

It would be cozy to spend Christmas in this little house.

Layers of ink - Winter Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin
The final result is a chunky mini book, which will be even chunkier once it is filled with memories.

Thank you so much for looking at this long post! I hope it inspired you to make some mini books. It takes a little bit of time, but it is well worth the effort. I love looking through old mini books, and so does my son.

Happy crafting!




  1. Thank you so much. Your work looks adorable.
    Very inspiring Anneke

  2. Gorgeous book! Love how easily you've created such a beautiful flow in the pages! TFS!

  3. Awesome!! So artistic and I could see that your put in many personal touches on each and every page!!

  4. This is so pretty!! Love the 3 colors, they are perfect for a winter project! Thanks for sharing

  5. Oh wow Anna-Karin- these colors are amazing. Love this book!

  6. WOW! This album is super-gorgeous...so so beautiful!

  7. Wow..this is Fantastic ..thanks a lt for sharing the steps in detail !

  8. Full of bright ideas and beautiful colours

  9. So gorgeous! I love the colors that you used. I love birds. I love trees. I think I may hyperventilate! ;)

  10. Absolutely INCREDIBLE Anna-Karin. What a WONDERFUL book - doesn't look so mini to me... for heaven't sake - it seems like it must have taken you hours. The colors are just stunning - so peaceful and wintery - cozy and happy. And the way you put it all together - so many designs and cuts and sizes and additions.... it's mind boggling to me. Can you tell - I have never done anything like this!!!!????? You have my admiration. Enjoy it now... it will be a winter wonderland of memories when spring arrives!!! j

  11. A wonderful detailed tutorial Anna-Karin and the result is absolutely stunning. What a fabulous little album to keep your treasured photos in. I just love the photo of Leo too, he is growing so fast! Anne xx

  12. This is absolutely amazing!!!! I love it. So inspiring. Now I need to make one, too. Thanks so much for sharing this so generously.

  13. Amazing Art-Book, wow,wow,wow! I like the soft colors and all the lovely decorated pages in it. A Dream!
    Have a nice and cosy December.

  14. What a wonderful tutorial and stunning album Anna-Karin, so sweet and beautiful with all the elements you have entirely made!!! and there are so many lovely details...
    I wish you a very happy Christmas time with your two little adorable kids!
    Hugs to you,
    Coco xx


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