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I am in awe that today I am sharing with you my last official post of 2020.

I know we are all feeling it. Relief, maybe apprehension…a little bit of denial, sadness, joy, shock…anticipation.  It is completely normal to be feeling it all.  If there is one phrase that pops into my head when I reflect on this year, it truly is the phrase “mixed bag”.

Today’s project is one of my absolute favourites to create.  I am a journal maker at heart, and that has never changed.  I love making and handcrafting homemade notebooks.  I think to be honest, this one might just be my newest favourite.

Creating journals and notebooks is certainly not a difficult project.  The basework essentially always remains the same.  I think I love the creativity and the customization that happens once books are crafted.  No two will ever be alike and there are no rules when creating a notebook or journal.  Once they are created a blank journal holds so much potential and possibility.  That is also kind of how I am choosing to see 2021.  Potential and possibility.

For my journal, I knew that this phrase “bless this mess” is currently my go to.  I am certainly not in my best mental and physical shape heading into 2021.  The fact remains that I still am choosing to do all I can to keep moving forward and keep perspective.  I may certainly feel like a current mess…and I will take all the blessings on top of this that I can! 😉

To create this cover, I used the digital art from this stamp set.  Yes! This art work is available digitally (if you were unaware) so if you love creating hybrid projects (like the one I am sharing today) be sure to grab it.  It is a beautiful set and as you will see shortly, looks incredible when combined with the Minc.

Printing off this phrase onto a paper from the Art Walk 12 x 12 Paper Pad, I then ran it through my Minc using this beautiful ultra voilet foil.

What a gorgeous result.

Now this is complete, time to create my album covers.

Grab yourself a set of Cinch chipboard to make this happen.  My album is 8.5 x 11 which is perfect because this chipboard is the exact size.  My inside pages are just going to be plain white 8.5 x 11 paper so everything aligns perfectly.

Once my chipboard is covered, time for the finishing touches.

These brand new stamps are probably my most favourite right now, and I have been loving using them on all of my projects. No rules here, simply layer, collage whatever you choose!  Even mix up the color of inks you are using.  I just used all black…but I am sure other colors would look just as beautiful too.

Now to bind.  Using the Cinch machine makes binding a breeze.  As long as you keep a few tips in mind!

Tip #1 – Punch your album components all separate.  Do not punch all together.  Punch the cover, back cover and inside pages all on their own.  Using a scrap piece of paper too is a great way to make sure your Cinch is accurate, so I always encourage a test punch!

Tip #2 – When binding it is essential to keep this order!  Inside pages first, next is front cover, then the back cover.  Because once you bind, the back cover will wrap around the binding exposing the front cover.

Another fun tip I did in creating my album is with the stamps.

Have you ever tried stamping on ribbon?

I used some of the definition stamps with black archival ink and stamped onto my ribbon that I will add onto my albums coil.  Isn’t that a fun and cute technique?  I adore how this turned out.  Just think how fun for additional albums, cards…you name it!

And here is the final product.  How pretty right?!  I just love this end result.  My vision for this journal is just that….a place to maybe create some vision boards, document some goals….maybe some lists of things I want to accomplish.  Dreams? Plans? Gratitude?  Right now it is a blank canvas but I will share what I finally chose to do with this particular notebook very soon!

As we close this chapter of 2020 I just want to let you all know how much I appreciate being able to create content and share ideas with you all that have hopefully brought you some joy this year.  Thank you so much for being here and I wish nothing but the absolute best for each and every one of you in 2021.

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