Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Field Notes -- An Expanding Mini Journal

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 1

Welcome! Today is the start of the second week of our two week challenge at Frilly and Funkie, and that means the Funkie side of the team gets to inspire you with their creations.  I am privileged to host the current challenge titled 'Back to Nature'. I hope you'll pop over to the blog to see all the amazing inspiration by both the Frilly and Funkie Design Team members.

Here's the brief:  Having just returned from our annual trek to the mountains of West Virginia where we observed so much natural beauty on our hikes, I couldn't help but make my challenge nature themed. You can make anything you like, from a card or tag to altered art, just be sure to include a natural element in your vintage or shabby chic project. Think real twigs, leaves, shells, pebbles. Or you could include a die cut or a stamped or stenciled image representing a natural object.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 2

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 3

For my project, I decided to make an expanding pocket album, inspired by this tutorial by Sheila. Her samples are so neat and precise! She uses purchased coin envelopes but I made a template to cut mine. I also adjusted her measurements to fit my needs. Otherwise,  I just copied her album, putting my natural spin on it.

The Cover

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 4

To make the cover, I cut a length of manila file folder to the length and width I needed and embossed with Lumber 3D Texture Fade. I had to do some strategic folding of the card to get one continuous strip of wood grain. I layered Distress crazing, paint, crayons, and oxides until I was satisfied with the texture and color.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 5

I colored the inside of the embossed piece with Ground Espresso and Weathered Wood paint. I cut my chipboard pieces to my desired size and covered them with paper from Wallflower paper stash. The panel's edges were blended with Ground Espresso ink. I adhered them to the prepared 'bark' strip using collage medium. I left about 1/8 inch between the individual panels so the box would fold properly. Lastly, I scored between each of the panels. I adhered magnets to the inside flap and front panel. These were not the best magnets to use; too thick to put under the paper, and they don't have the best grab. But they were the best I could get locally.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 6

I used some die cut Fall Foliage leaves along with a twig tied with twine, mica chips and pebbles from my stash to decorate the flap. I cut the leaves from card I coated with DecoArt crackle paint and colored them with  Peeled Paint Distress Crayon and Twisted Citron oxide ink.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 7

 The Quote chip serves as my title,  sanded and inked with Frayed Burlap and Ground Espresso.

The Pockets

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 8

I made a coin envelope template using the one I made for my Vintage Mail Folio, just reducing it in size. I traced and cut 7 from cream card stock and cut the top flaps off. I colored them with oxides (colors in links below) and stamped with Newsprint from Newsprint and Type set by Tim Holtz in black archival ink. Each one is edged with Frayed Burlap ink. I wasn't concerned over getting a good impression, since most of the stamping will not be seen on the finished product. Each was assembled and glued.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 9

I applied super sticky tape to the center of the envelopes and layered them up on top of each other. I adhered the first and last envelope to the front and back cover to form an accordion mechanism out of the pockets.

The Tags

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 10

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 11

(Apologies over the color variation. My indoor photo light died, and it's going to be a couple of weeks before a replacement is shipped. Some of my photos were taken before the bulb blew.The light was fading as I took these photos outdoors. Just pretend the colors are the same in the second photo above as the first, which reflects the actual colors.)

I cut more cream card to fit into the envelopes, to make removable note cards which can be taken with me to make observations when I'm hiking. I cut 9 in all to make up 7 cards. I made them just a bit longer than the pockets, so they could easily be removed. I die cut 4 different Wildflowers from the #2 set from kraft card (Autumn gave me a pile of this great card when we met and crafted at the lake last spring, and I've been hoarding it. Thank you, Autumn!) I die cut words into 2 of the note cards using the Mixed Media #6 and Thin Pondering Words dies.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 12

I adhered a plain card to the back on the one reading 'Collect' and stamped 'Miscellaneous' (Purveyor) in Watering Can ink.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 13

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 14

I blended Antique Linen and Walnut Stain DOX on one of the plain cards and later used that to back the 'Found' card, creating an ombre' background for the die cut letters.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 15

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 16

I adhered a wildflower to each of the die cut cards and to two of the others.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 17

The tiniest leaves from the Fall Foliage set were cut and adhered to another card.  I dabbed a little watered down Peeled Paint Distress Crayon on them. Each card was dipped into puddles of DOX and dried until I achieved my desired effect.  This was done to each side (not photographed). I did some stamping on 5 of the panels in potting soil ink using the script from Ledger Script. I painted on a thin layer of collage medium over the front of each card to protect it and to give some additional stiffness to the card, but left the backs without any medium so I could write my field notes on them.

Sara Emily Barker Field Notes Mini Album 3D Texture Fade Lumber 18

I hope you've picked up some 'Natural' ideas and will play along in Frilly and Funkie's current challenge, 'Back to Nature'.  As always, the Design Team will choose our four favorites from the entries, and one winner will earn the chance of a Guest Designer spot at Frilly and Funkie. If that's not enough to tempt you to play along, one lucky winner will score a generous $25 shopping spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Please visit Frilly and Funkie for all the details. I hope to see you there!

Challenge shares:
Thank you for stopping by! If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below.  I hope you'll join me at Frilly and Funkie this coming Saturday for our Saturday Showcase.

Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily

The following products were used and can be purchased at The Funkie Junkie Boutique:


  1. Sara Emily, everything you make is always so wonderful! I was just thinking of doing a Field Notes journal too and this gives me some great ideas to get started. I am very curious to know how you got the entire length of your cover embossed in such a continuous fashion. I can't envision getting the middle sections through my Vagabond... I hope you're willing to divulge.

    1. Thank you for your visit and sweet comment, Heather. You're going to give me a fat head! And thank you for your question. I will do my best to explain. First I cut my strip of manila file folder plus an extra inch or so of length, so that all of my chip board pieces would fit. Obviously, there is already a fold in that from where the file folds. I kept the strip folded at this line before running it through my Big Kick with the embossing folder. Then I folded the other end of the strip and ran that folded portion through with the folder. So essentially, I am embossing each folded end. There is the original fold line from the file folder on the bottom of the box, but it's not seen as it's on the bottom. I held my breath each time I passed it through, because it does add extra thickness which could mess up your machine. I don't know about a Vagabond. I hope this all makes sense. You can see why I didn't include it in my post. Tee Hee! I also tend to create 'on the fly', and this was just an experiment I hoped would work. Hugs!

    2. PS I can't wait to see how your journal turns out! I hope you'll share the link to your post with me! Hugs!

    3. Ohhhh! I get it (I think) so in essence you embossed two layers at once and then turned it around and did the other end. So one 'side' actually is embossed in the reverse (negative bumps). Yes? I'm glad to see I'm not the only one taking experimental chances (not just craft ones either). :) BTW the Vagabond II won't let you break itself with too thick a sandwich (which IS how I broke my first one). Whee!

  2. It's sooooo BEAUTIFUL Sara! Your Gorgeous Journal goes so well with the Challenge too! Thanks for playing along with us over at SumMore Fun Stamps! Have a great day!

    Theresa (SumMore Fun DT)

  3. Oh my goodness, spectacular!! Wow, Sara Emily, I'm in awe!! The bark look of the outside is amazing!! I love the crackled leaves and the twig - what a perfect touch!! Everything is so stunning!! I'd gush some more but I want to scroll back up and look at the pictures again!! Love, love it!! Have a great day, my friend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  4. Oh wow Sara, your mini album is fabulous! The crackle on the cover is amazing, I love your decorated pockets inside and the twig on the front is the perfect finishing natural touch! Hugs, Anne xx

  5. Oops, forgot to say thank you for joining in with us this month at Mini Album Makers too xxx

  6. Sara Emily, I just saw you post on Tim Holtz Addicts and had to come over to see how you did it. An I found so much more than I expected. It is an incredible album. Just a treasure in every detail. Thank you so much for sharing so many details on how you made it.

  7. Ok...that cover is amazing! It looks just like tree bark! This is a beautifully designed project!

  8. Sara Emily, this is a stunning field journal! I love the inside pockets and the embellishments on the outside of the journal. That wood effect takes the cake though!

  9. AMAZING creation Sara Emily!! I love your journal~The cover is gorgeous and love all the fantastic pockets! The inking, the details, wood grain and beautiful twig on front looks awesome! The crackled texture on the creative and inspiring. I wish I had time to hide away in my room and get inky. So many thoughts run through my head but just don't have the time right now. Life is busy and family needs me.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful your creativity!
    Sherrie K
    Also, thanks for joining us in the Scrapy Land Challenge!

  10. What a stunning project! You've achieved such a realistic, natural, rustic look! Amazing!
    Thank you for joining us this month at We Love 2 Create! Jane S (DT) xxx

  11. OMG Sara, this is beyond incredible!!!! I completely and utterly adore absolutely everything about this!! From the amazing cover (it really looks like wood) and the way you have decorated it, - to each of the pockets and then those tags and cards for notes, so, so cool!!! I think I am going to give this a try! Stunning, stunning work my friend!!

  12. I love this nature themed album. The cover is just fantastic, and the inside pockets... no matter the colour of your pictures, it is beautiful!

  13. WOW, amazing project. What a beauty. So glad you joined us at Die Cut Divas.

  14. Super cute!!! Thank you for joining us at Let's Craft, good luck!!! Amy DT

  15. Oh my goodness, this is just divine, I’d be a happpy person if you did a tutorial on the cover, most amazing I’veever seen, tfs

    Wow amazing love your project, thank you so much for sharing with the DT from We Love To Create Hugs Terry xxx

  17. A fab little album ! Thank you so much for joining my challenge "sun, sea and sand" over at Country View Challenges !
    Corrie x

  18. OK, I'm going home and throwing away the one of these I made... LOLOL! Mine is nowhere near as cool and creative as your version. I just love the "continuous bark" idea!!! This is such an awesome project and as usual, filled with so many amazing mixed media details per your typical spin! :) We are so thankful you shared in our challenge at Mini Album Makers. Big hugs, Autumn PS. Make sure to add our badge to your post to be eligible to win the prize.

  19. Simply brilliant - love the bark wallet and those delightful tags. A real treat. Thanks so much for playing along at Mini Album Makers.
    Alison x

  20. Oh WOW! I am totally in awe of this project! That outside looks like wood. The whole project is simply amazing. Thank you for linking up with the SumMore Fun mood board challenge!

  21. Amazing!!!!❤ I love the fact you did something different!!! Thinking outside the box is a wonderful gift. And loving that you used the building from the mood board to inspire you. So cool!! Thank for joining in the challenge over at SumMoreFun!!!❤
    Amy (SumMoreFun DT)

  22. I can't believe I didn't come see this gorgeous fabulous fold out project sooner! Wow is the texture fantastic on the outside and inside hidden gems! Wonderful inspiration!

  23. This is amazing! Thank you for using our mood board and joining us at SumMore Fun

  24. Oh wow, I really love your creation and your take on our current mood board.

    **Thank you for joining in the ~SumMore Fun~ mood board challenge, I hope to see you again**

    Have a wonderful day,

    Jessica (SumMore Fun DT Member)

    Polka Dot Orchard

  25. Wow!! An amazing project. Thanks for joining us at Die Cut Diva's challenge.

    Dawn DT

  26. Thanks so much for entering the Love To Scrap Challenge Blog's August "Old School" challenge with your amazing entry! We hope to see you again for our new September challenge! ;)
    Leslie, LTSCB DT
    Love To Scrap 2
    Love To Scrap!

  27. What a great project Sara,
    Thank you for joining our challenge at
    Let's Craft and Create this week and good luck.. Ursula Uphof DT


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