Just in time for vacation and travel season, I have a new product available on Etsy today: my “Let’s Go” travel journal kit. This kit is for the scrapbook lover who wants to put together a keepsake journal of their vacation without having to fuss with all the cutting, punching, and trying to figure out what papers to use. It’s all here for you; 30 unique pages, 3 tags, 1 vintage card piece, a sheet of airmail stickers, 5 Jenni Bowlin chipboard buttons, and 2+ yards of baker’s twine. It all comes in a white cigar box for you to decorate to your heart’s content! The size of the journal is approximately 4×6″, so it’s small enough to put in your bag and tote along with you. Add photos, journaling and mementos of your special trip, and you have a unique and special remembrance to last you a lifetime! To get yours and see more photos of what’s inside, click on my Etsy badge to get to my shop, and get yours before they run out. Free gift with purchase, too! Happy travels!
I am trying to feel better. Feeling less than normal just really sucks, and although I do not like the “H” word, when it comes to illness, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I hate it! Well, today, sitting here at the computer is not quite the torture it was yesterday, so I’ll talk a little bit about a new project Hubby and I have come up with. He has a new exhibit at our local art museum coming in August. He will be showing a large selection of his black and white photography, from his pinhole series, to Lost Lake and the surrounding foothills. It will be amazing. Then, several days ago, he approached me about an idea that I am really excited about: printing out smaller versions of his exhibit pieces, and creating a hand-made book, for sale at the museum. Since I love making journaling and notebooks, I have begun to explore hand-stitched books, particularly Japanese stab binding, and other forms of hand stitching pages into hand-sewn covers. This should turn out incredibly, if we can pull off what we imagine it to be. We will create one book for ourselves to be a sort of prototype to show, and then when we are perfectly happy with it, we will continue to go on to create maybe six more to display and sell at the museum. I am so excited! Each book will be quite an undertaking; knowing that we are both perfectionists, I’m guessing one book will take several days to complete, being that every detail will be done by hand. I know it will not be easy, but I am so happy we will not need to rely on third party red tape, or publishers. It will be a local, hand-crafted endeavor we will enjoy doing together; a collaboration of love that I know will make us feel proud and feel good! More details and progress notes when the times arise!
My daughter’s best friend has a birthday coming up this Saturday. As we looked around a local store for something to give as a gift, I completely bypassed the greeting card aisle. On purpose. My thinking: why give Hallmark my money, when I can make one myself? I can choose the colors, the theme, the styling, even customize it with Sabrina’s name (the birthday girl)…and it still won’t cost me as much as that cookie-cutter card you find on aisle 3a. Of course, it does help that being an avid scrapbooker, I have loads of colorful papers, stickers, shape punchers, rubber stamps, etc. It’s not just saving money (um…I did have to buy those papers, stickers and such at one time or other…), but it’s the love of crafting something by hand. It’s a stress-reliever, an energizer, a creative outlet, a mental “upper”, if you will. It is impossible for me to feel anything but peace, happiness and contentment when I scrapbook a page, make a card, or create any other craft project. That’s one of the reasons I started my own little enterprise I call Retrospect; I like to make things, and I love even more to share them. Business may not be booming at the moment, but I’m not in it to be the next Martha Stewart. It can be expensive, and I want to have fun. So I will hopefully make a little money while doing what I love. Having a shop in Etsy has made me feel like part of a community, as well. Most everything on the site is hand-crafted, and I have come to really appreciate this, versus buying something from a chain store: it’s personal, it’s unique, it’s always made with love… and that makes it special. Since not everyone has the time or inclination to make something by hand (although I highly condone trying, you can’t go wrong!), I feel compelled to suggest visiting the Etsy site for anything you might be needing, whether it’s for yourself, or for someone else (you know, Valentines Day is coming): www.etsy.com. Feel free to visit my shop there (http://www.etsy.com/shop/simplyretrospect), or my website (http://www.simplyretrospective.com/). Happy crafting!