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Important Stuff

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© 2014 What You Make It/Jann Gray Designs


If you have followed me for a while, you know I am not a huge "pre-planner" most of the time. I go with a "general gist" - and figure things out as I go along. However, I have found that the best way to insure success on a project like this is to do a bit of planning and prep work. Once that is done - I am free to interact with my project in my normal "go where the muse takes me" creative process.

The biggest part of my pre-planning focuses on creating my Christmas Journal Kit and preparing all the "time consuming" bits like the base pages, embellishments and journaling areas. By narrowing down the supplies that I will be working with when December 1st comes around I am also narrowing down the time consuming (and sometimes paralyzing) choices. Nothing derails me from doing a daily project like having to figure EVERYTHING out in a very short amount of time. If it gets complicate, I move on...and the project just doesn't get done.

So - today's assignment is for you to begin to pull your kit together. To make this the most effective "kit" for me,  I have found that I need to keep all my "lovely bits" together where I can see them - "out of sight, out of mind" is so very true in my life...so I have a couple of dedicated organizers that I begin to stock with all my supply choices.

Here is what I use - but do what works for you - this is just to give you some ideas.

I particularly like the 3-Case storage tower. I keep my pattern papers - both loose and those that are in stacks, in the bottom drawer - my cardstock (textured and smooth) in the middle drawer, and stickers and alphas in the smaller top drawer. I store scraps back in the drawer that holds "like items." I love the little inset top that it has - I go ahead and put my inks, sprays and paints on top so I really am not searching for ANY basic supply when I grab a few minutes to sit down to work on my project.

I use the ArtBin Super Satchel to hold all of the "bits and pieces" - dimensional elements, metal findings, fibers and trims, Ideology items, found items, tags,sequins, ephemera packs - really just all the loose sparkly bits! If I have chosen papers that have "cut apart" elements - I go ahead and trim those down and place them in one of the compartments so I can flip through them easily when the time comes. As I build my daily "date" tags and journaling spots, I will give them a compartment of their own too.

Finally, the ArtBin Essentials Satchel is how I store my pre-made base pages. I don't put them into my album until I am doing the documenting in December...because I have no idea what each day will hold, I don't want to put myself in a corner for the type of page that would be the best way to document that day.  This album is going to be made up of different styles of pages, pockets and inserts. I will make several of each kind and store them together in this satchel.  I also use this Satchel to store any of my larger elements that I create ahead of time, but have not yet put into my album.

When I am not documenting the creation process like I am doing for this class, I set up a 4 foot table in my studio - and put a small craft mat, cutting mat and my three organizers on it - having a dedicated location that I don't have to keep setting up and taking down also makes it much more conducive to me taking the odd free moment to sit down and work on the album a bit at the time.

So do you have an idea of the style of album you want to create? I love that the Tim Holtz Folio can be used regardless of if you want to make a Rustic Charm style album like the one I will be showing you, or if you want to go with a sophisticated gold and white theme...it all works!

I have created a video that walks you through the choices I have made...if you like the things that I share with you - you can find them on Bluemoon Scrapbooking on my Christmas Journal Supply List.

I will also be "shopping my stash" for this project. After many years of creating Christmas albums, scrapbook pages and cards - I have quite a collection of Christmas odds and ends. I always enjoy pulling down my Christmas Goodies Collection from my studio closet and pawing through it and pulling out fun things that will make the perfect addition to my album. You may also want to "shop your stash" for labels, tags or other generic elements like brads or flowers. This is a step that I do NOW while I am putting my kit together! If I wait until December to pick the things I want - I will be too busy and will end up using nothing from my stash.

As you head off to go begin pulling your kit together, here is a basic list of the types of things you will want to get - regardless of the manufacturer or style you plan to use:

 The Basics:

                    * Large Portfolio

                    * Cardstock (12x12) 3-4 sheets of 2-3neutrals

                        (black, kraft, brown, white or cream)

                    * Patterned paper (12x12) I suggest a minimum of 5 patterns

                         1-2 sheets (3 if you love both the A andB sides) of each.

                         You may want to also have a 6x6 pad of the matching paper.

                    * Patterned paper (12x12) for your front and back covers.

                         I usually choose a pattern I won't use elsewhere.

                    * Chipboard letters/stickers: At least 2 sets for titling

                    * Small alpha stickers.

                    * Christmas Ephemera

                         Most manufacturers have coordinating ephemera packs - look

                          for ones that have elements that will lend themselves to  

                          layering. You can add to this from your stash.

                    * Dimensional items (metal, wood veneer, flair, flowers)

                    * Numbers (stamps, metal embelishments or stickers) We will use

                        these to create labels for the different days.

                    * Assortment of tags/labels

                    * Matching trims

                    * Christmas themed stamps (both words and images)

                    * Dies or Electronic Cutting System elements

                    * Acrylic paint in colors that coordinate with your papers. Have at

                        least one neutral (cream, white, black or gray).

                    * Inks: Both Archival and Dye based inks.

                    * Gesso, Matte Gel Medium, Dimensional Adhesive, Scoretape (or

                        redliner tape...just something VERY sticky), Glossy Accents and


Well that should keep you busy for a few days! Be sure and use the Contact Jann button at the top of the page if you have any questions or wonder if a product you are thinking of using will work for this project.

If you are like me - there is something VERY fun about organizing my supplies...so I know you will have fun! I'll be back in a couple of days so we can work on prepping our folio. HAVE FUN and let me know how it goes!

The Pledge

(click to download)

"I Am An Artist" Hand Lettered Artwork

(click to download your favorite)

  Tracie Claiborne

  Hand Lettering Artist

click to visit Tracie's Blog

Are You Ready To Get Started?

I am...but first things first...we want this to be as much like one of my live classes as possible...and that means...we have to do The Pledge! The Pledge? Mmmm Hmmm! I never start a class without it...so to find out more about it - and to jump right into the middle of it all...let's go to our first video!

That wasn't too bad, was it?

I do hope that as you work your way through class, that you will share your artwork with me and your fellow students. Just a couple of housekeeping things - I know it probably goes without saying but... 1) Be kind and 2) Keep in mind that some of your fellow students may be minors...so let's keep everything G-PG!

I will be setting up some InLinkz link-ups - for your I Am An Artist handlettered pledge art...and for your projects that you design based on our lessons. You don't have to have "completed" works of art. I want you feel free to share your "in progress" album as well as sharing your finished album, if you like. I will be working with the products I outlined in the class description, but you are free to use ANY products that you want. If any of the lesson is unclear, or you have a question - please use the Contact Jann button at the top right hand corner of the classroom and I will get back with you as quickly as possible.

Session One

Preparing to be creative

© 2014 What You Make It/Jann Gray Designs