Thursday, June 29, 2017

Oh Canada Travelers Journal with Southern Ridge Trading Co.

Hello Blog Land!! I am here today with a Canadian Travelers Journal. This July 1st marks my homelands 150th birthday. Southern Ridge Trading Co. has come out with a new release commemorating the event,  you can go see what my team mates have come up with! 

I have a tutorial for you using Eileen Hull's Journal die. I am entering this in a few challenges. Mix Media Monthly has multiple themes this month but I am going with travel. Emerald Creek is doing a Surf, Turf or both & Simon Says Stamp is playing with stencils! This has lots of step out pics so grab your favorite Molson Product & a Poutine, let's go! 

Cover of a travel journal Canada 150 chipboard, lots of texture, red & white
Southern Ridge Trading Co. Chippies on a Travel Journal

Here is my in progress journal. As a Canadian living in the U.S. I visit at least once a year to see family. My idea is to use this book to document my trips & favorite things like Canadian beer, poutine, my favorite restaurants etc. The inserts are easily removable (like a midori) which makes working on it a breeze. I have the covers finished & will work on the inside as I go. It will have 3 or 4 sections which gives me options! 

mat board cut journal book with Canada, moose, bear chipboard pieces
Eileen Hull Journal Book & SRTC Chippies

Let's Get Started! 

I started by cutting out 2 pieces of mat board with the Journal die. The key is to flip the 2nd piece so the middle hole lines up. You can use that hole to string a ribbon or elastic to create a closure for your book. I used painters tape to mask off the spine to protect it. and covered the mat board with gesso. Tip: Keep the covers beside each other so you don't get mixed up & decorate the wrong side. Once you get a few layers on it is easy to distinguish just remember which way is up! 

SRTC & DecoArt Stencils

Build Up That Texture.

Use Super Heavy Gesso over the entire piece creating texture with a spatula. I pushed my Canada 150 piece into the gesso so it would adhere easily & flatly. The downside of doing this is it limits my options when it comes to designing after the fact. I added crackle paste randomly around the outside edges of the pages and light modeling paste through a stencil. Set aside to dry thoroughly.  

Texture Book with Iron Oxide Glaze

Using Micaceous Iron Oxide (a gritty fluid silvery dark grey acrylic) & DecoArt Glazing medium I made a mix in equal parts & covered my whole project. This can seem daunting & over kill but trust me it is a great way to add depth to the cracks & crevices of all that texture created by the pastes. Let it dry for a minute or 2 & using a baby wipe, wipe back the color as much or little as you like. I wanted to have white in there so I wiped back quote a bit, but let the paint stay in the crevices. Rotate the baby wipe as it gets dirty for best results. Ah texture!

Next I painted the Canada 150 in Americana True Red. I used that same color & the glazing medium again as above. I did this a couple of times to get my covers the way I wanted it. Repeat with the back side. With a piece of stiff kids foam & small amounts of Metallic Lustre in Copper Kettle, hit the high points and scuff up the edges. Ah love the shine!!

Decorate The Spine.

Using the True Red again cover the spines with a dry brush. Once dry I scuffed it up a bit using the Iron Oxide. Then I stamped a script stamp using gold acrylic paint. I peeled off the outside strip on the back side just 1 layer of paper from the mat board. The glue will stick better to a non painted surface. Use a strong glue that will hold up to handling. SuperTape by Therm*O*Web is a favorite. Line up the book, adhere the front spine piece over the back spine piece. The middle holes will almost line up. Press together.

I used Eileen's Color Blends to distress the edges, so easy to use & really helps the book pop!! 

I wanted to add something to the Canada piece, it was looking a little stark. I glued some seed beads in some of the more open spaces but decided that wasn't enough. Resin to the rescue. Pouring Resin Obsession and adding some more beads & glitter shapes was just what it needed. I will have a post on how on how I did this soon. The cool thing is some of the shapes look like they are floating. 

I also added some Emerald Creek Burnt Copper Leaves emboss to the bear & adhered him to the front. My family's crest animal is the bear so this was very appropriate.

Threading the Spine You Have Options...

The idea of this journal is once to fit 3 books or signatures in it that are removable. Basically sliding the pages under an elastic or cord. I chose 1mm black waxed cord as I wanted something thinner but strong so I could add beads to the spine. The nice thing about using elastic, it is easier to slide your pages in & out. Simply cut 3 pieces of cord (about 20" long) and string each one through a set of holes, so the ends are facing front out of the spine.

Add your beads and tie a knot below & above the bead strand so they stay put. Tie a knot at the top hole, on the outside of each strand. Leave enough slack that you can slip the books in & out. Also the extra cord is so you can add more beads & charms so don't cut it!  Elastic means you can put a larger size book because it stretches. 
Elastic= up to 8 3/4" book. Cording = 7 1/2"ish. 

Add Some Fun Charms!

I am a bit of a craft & ephemera hoarder & it finally paid off!!! I lived in Vancouver, Canada for a year, 12 years ago and my house key was a Canadian Maple Leaf. I don't know about you but I have a challenge using "special" items. Either I can't find them or the project is not important enough & so the items either sit in a box somewhere never to be found or just plain gather dust. This time the stars aligned and not only did I remember that I owned this but I also managed to find it fairly quickly- what??? That never happens!!! These charms & more beads were added to the extra cording at the top of the book.
 I will be back in July with a post on the inside of my book so stay tuned!!!

Emerald Creeks Dare- Surf & Turf or Both
Mix Media Monthly- #27 Travel
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge- Stencil It 


  1. So happy to have found my way to your blog!

  2. This is awesome! The texture is amazing - I love the back cover as much as the front! Gorgeous!

  3. Love the chipboards. Makes a great cover. thanks so much for sharing.

  4. As a fellow Canadian, but living in England, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your tribute to Canada's 150 years! This is absolutely stunning, the texture on the cover is wonderful and the chippies are amazing!!

    1. Thanks so much Anne! I didn't realize you were a Canuck- well done you!

  5. Absolutely lovely! The textures are amazing. I love the deep reds too. Happy B-day Canada! Thank you for Stenciling with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!

  6. Awesome journal!!! I love every fabulous detail!! Canada and I share a birthday!!! :) Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful creativity and inspiration with us over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge blog this month!!

    1. Wow!! Happy Birthday! Thanks for taking the time to check out my book!

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