Momento Mori Journal Walkthrough

 

I posted my second journal up on my etsy today. By popular demand, I’ve decided to have blog posts showing the journals that I make.

I got inspiration for this journal when I found a sparrow skull charm at Michaels. It gave me the idea of having a journal with a “Momento Mori” theme, but I wanted it to also be a bit bright, so I made sure to add some florals and bright colors. 🙂

All of the necessary supplies I needed came from Hobby Lobby and Michaels with the exception of the cardboard box and magazines and vintage paper and beads that I recycled.

For the front of this journal I used scrapbooking paper that looks like aged  wrinkled leather in blue. I sponged on black paint to give it dimension. The aged looking bronzy-brown spine wraps from the back to the front. The corners are accented with bronzed photo corners. The cow skull is glued to the center front of the book and 2 sets of chains hang beside it.

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This book was stitched using a light pink embroidery thread. I hammered in an eyelet, and used a bird skull charm and vintage bead charms for this book. Some of these beads looked like bone, which matched the theme.

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The back of this journal is pretty simple. I used the same fabric as the one used in the front, and the spine continues to the back.

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I always want each journal to be a bit eclectic and mis-matched to make them more quirky. For the inner book cover, I used a light yellow cow skull and floral print scrapbooking paper. The first page of the signature is a really pretty dark gray (almost black) sheet of scrapbooking paper covered with moths. Their bodies are embellished with gold glitter. On the inside front of the book, I layered some hand die-cut and embossed sheets, which I intend to keep blank for the new owner to use.

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Each journal that I made is a bit different from a traditional journal. Most of the pages are white and unlined, but I threw in some scrapbooking paper, envelopes, pockets, etc. to make it a bit more colorful and less traditional. The papers and patterns I chose correspond with the theme of the journal as a whole. For the theme, I threw in some pure black sketchbooking paper sheets to this particular one.

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Here’s another page: This one contains more ephemera which is included with the book.

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Each journal that I made was made with the same template. 6 signatures containing about 3-4 pages folded in half a piece.

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I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but if you want to learn the basics of bookbinding, Check out Sealemon on youtube. She has a bunch of unique, entertaining and inspiring tutorials for people new to bookbinding.

If you’d prefer to buy one already made, I have 2 for sale on my etsy shop now, and hope to start on a new one soon!

If you’d like to buy this journal, it is listed for sale here.

Here is a link to my etsy shop.

I hope you have a relaxing allergy free afternoon. (I have allergies today, so I’m feeling kind of bleh.) Can’t wait to talk to you all again soon. 🙂

 

 

Journal Preview: Momento Mori Junk Journal

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share a quick preview of the journal that I’m currently working on for my Etsy shop. This was after I “aged” the spine and attached the hardware… When I get back from work this afternoon, I plan on starting to add the charms and pages and inserting the paper!

I may do some light sponging with acrylic paint on the blue portions with a different shade of blue if I feel like it needs it, but I think for the most part the outside is done. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what the final product looks like! So far I’m happy with how it’s turning out.

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And, of course, I am already thinking about my next journal theme. I bought some really pretty victorian style paper recently that inspired me to make a “Corset” themed journal. I am antsy to start on it! If possible, I may stream my construction process for that journal on Twitch, because – sidenote – I bought some new equipment that will make that possible!

If you like what you see, keep an eye out for this journal to show up sometime later this week in my shop. Here’s a link. Also, Feel free to follow me on instagram. I like to post some of the more technical videos involving the creation of my journals to my “Story” on there, so if you like creation style videos, you may like that. 😉

Thanks for looking! Let me know if you have any “theme” ideas for any future journals.

 

Breakthroughs about my own Self-Worth

I feel like last month has been one of my most dramatic ones in terms of growing as a person.

I realized – fully realized – That I am capable of making doing what I love into a profitable business if I put in the necessary work.

I think that’s the key, though… It is a lot of work to start a business, and between my regular job and this new side-job, I have been working – literally from morning to the time that I go to sleep for the past week.

I’ll confess that it’s been getting to be draining. I was surprised with how  tired I felt at the end of the day yesterday, and I wondered why… My husband mentioned that even though I am doing what I love after my normal job, it is still a form of work and that I need to take time to relax.

It is very hard to do though because I really just want to get the groundwork laid out so that I can just focus on creating and advertising.

Between the time that I decided that I wanted to start a business selling my journals last wednesday and now, I’ve created an etsy shop, created an instagram account, created a facebook account, filmed a youtube video for my first journal, started a pinterest page for my journals in progress, started a twitch account, wrote down a list of small goals and timelines, created a trademark design, created a spreadsheet from scratch (complete with complicated formulas so that I can save time in the longrun) to break down costs spent on my journals and spit out a recommended price to charge for it, and working on journals and journal designs that I want to sell… And that doesn’t count the business I have going on Poshmark right now.

Honestly, it’s been a lot. I haven’t even started advertising much, because for one, I’m not at the point yet where it’s worth advertising (especially since I only have one journal listed) and I simply haven’t had time yet…

I’m really looking forward to this weekend, and expect to get a lot done so that I can start relaxing a bit. I’m going to some estate sales with a friend on saturday and am looking forward to it because it’ll both serve as a bit of a break from the running around, and I will hopefully be able to find some good stuff to use in future journals.

So, a thing I learned that I didn’t fully realize until last month: It is possible to have a business that allows you to be creative, but you need to put in the effort to make it successful… That means setting little goals to meet, creating spreadsheets, and figuring out how you are going to advertise your products. Customers will not come to you if they do not know that your products exist.

Anyway, I am going to continue on with this. I’ve been keeping myself motivated by listening to a Podcast called “Creative Living With Jamie”. It’s a really inspiring podcast about creative professionals and how they think, become successful, etc.

I also bought a self-help book called “Playing Big” by Tara Mohr. I heard her talk on the podcast mentioned above, and I really related to what she was saying in the interview. The book is about how we (as women) are much more capable than we give ourselves credit for, and about the importance of replacing self-doubt with self-worth.

This is something that I realize has been holding me back… It’s the core of why I put off starting my business for so long… A fear of failing, or not being good enough. In my mind, it wasn’t even worth trying. I am actively working now on getting past this, and getting my self confidence up.

Anyway, I feel as though 2017 has been- and is going to continue to be – a year of growth for me as a person and I look forward to seeing what it has in store for me.

Somewhat related – I got a raise recently in my full time job, and am going to splurge on some items to get my business going – I think that a big part of my business will involve having patrons and streaming my work and art, so I’m really happy that I’m going to be able to kick this off earlier than I expected.

I will be purchasing a good windows computer (The Surface Pro 4 specifically), some lighting, and a good webcam so that I can start streaming my work as I create junk journals, paint, art journal, or do any of those other artsy things that I like to do. If you are interested, feel free to follow me on Twitch. You can find me under the name “themermaidcove”.

I look forward to interacting with you on Twitch as I start live streaming my work in the next few weeks! 🙂

In case you’re interested in checking out my Etsy shop, here is my store: MermaidCoveArt. Keep an eye out for cool new things! Let me know if you have any ideas of what else you think I should sell. I am open to ideas, and don’t intend to just sell art journals there.

 

Upcoming: Momento Mori Junk Journal

 

I was shopping at Michaels last weekend and found these bird skull charms. I ended up having to buy them, because they inspired my next junk journal that I will (hopefully) have up on my etsy shop sometime next week.

Because I like themes a lot, I plan on making each of my journals with a theme in mind. This is what I did when I made my family and friends theirs for Christmas. See those posts from December if you’d like to see pictures of those.

Anyway, the theme for my next one is Momento Mori. A Momento Mori is a reminder that we all have to die someday. They serve as reminders of our own mortality.

The concept may be seen as dark for some, but I personally feel as though it is important to accept that death as something that is unavoidable, and if we stop fearing it, we can learn to live more fully… There being an end point to our lives makes the time we have alive so much more precious.

I plan on mixing floral patterns into this journal, because in death, comes life. I think the end result will be beautiful.

I’ve decided to start keeping pinterest boards for each of my journals as inspiration strikes me. This’ll help me to start thinking about the journal so that I can keep an eye out for paper I like, ephemera I see at garage sales or in my junk mail. Here is the pinterest board for this particular journal: http://pin.it/Gebbayg

Also, in case you haven’t seen it yet, Here is a link to my shop! I still don’t have much on it yet, but I hope to put more items for sale soon.

I also made my business an instagram account. I have more examples of what I plan on selling posted on there.

Anyway, do you have any good theme ideas for junk journals that I could make? I’d love to hear your input!

I have an Etsy Shop for my Junk Journals!

I’m so excited to finally have taken this leap! I’ve been wanting an Etsy shop for years now.

I only have one item listed right now, but I hope to fill it up a bit more over the next few weeks! I have big plans for it. 🙂

Below is my very first journal that I have for sale. It is a floral theme and has a fox and a key charm on it. I am very happy with how it turned out.

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Here is a link to my shop!

I also made my business an instagram account. I have more examples of what I plan on selling posted on there.

I hope to sell some original art prints and maybe some ephemera packs on that site as well.

I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me!

Reflection on my Previous Post – What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up

I’ve had some time to seriously ponder what I wrote in my last blog post… In the back of my mind I knew that my views on careers – and just settling for what gets you a steady paycheck – is a cynical view…

After I wrote that post, I took some time to really reflect about how I feel about the choices I made and on my life as it is right now.

I don’t regret my past decisions, but I am willing to openly confess now that I feel incomplete in my job.

For years I had made different types of creative business plans for different businesses that I could start in order to make money. These businesses ranged quite a bit – I had an idea where I’d be an artist who went to businesses or homes to paint murals on their walls. Or one time I had an idea where I’d teach instructable art classes (Like Painting With a Twist) for birthday parties and events.

Just a few months back I wrote a list of all the different ways that I could think of that could potentially make me money. Honestly, it has always been at the back of my mind.

A little less than a year ago, I started reselling thrift finds on Poshmark, and it has been my first taste of completely independent profit. I don’t make much with it – At the end of the day it ends up being around $100 a month that I get to keep in my pockets, but it’s been enough for me to realize that I do have the ability to create a profitable business doing what I love.

As a result of this, I find myself wanting to branch out. I acknowledge that I do not feel comfortable strictly doing retail selling. For one, it is very hard to make your items visible on Poshmark, and a lot of work to sell clothing items even if you have a decent number of followers. Also, I don’t want to start a business that relies so much on sales, because I want to be able to stay afloat during an economic downturn…

I have started thinking about other ways to make money – About making this “Side Hustle” into something more… I still like Poshmark, and likely will continue selling through them, but I also want to branch out.

I created an Etsy shop (finally!) called MermaidCoveArt. I created my first art journal to sell on that site to give that a try, and plan on taking pictures of it, filming a video on youtube with the item, and posting both today. I also created a livestream account on Twitch Live under the name: themermaidcove where I will start streaming some of my art live. I hope to eventually link Patreon to that so that I can get funded for doing the things I love the most – Which is creating. I also have always wanted to write a book, and I hope to be able to write some more… I doubt that it’ll ever be as big as the Harry Potter series, but I feel inspired by the fact that publishing is a lot easier to do independently now than it had been 10 years ago.

For the first time, I’m actually making a true effort to make doing what I love into a career, and I feel very excited about it.

I’m tired of setting limits on myself, and I apologize if my previous post made you consider doing the same for yourself or doubting whether or not you should follow your passions. It can be very hard to branch out into the unknown, but if you love what you do, you should do it… Find a way to do it whenever you can. You don’t have to just quit your existing job to pursue this kind of career. Take baby steps if that’s more comfortable. Do the work after your regular job or while you have free time. The key thing is to take those steps.

That’s what I’m going to do.

Thanks for reading! Do any of you work for yourself? What do you do, and how did you start? What were some things that you struggled with? Do you have any tips for creative professionals?

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

As a 30 year old, I consider myself an adult… And I still don’t have an answer to this question.

When I was younger, I asked myself this, and I always figured that as I got older, I’d just know one day, but that didn’t happen.

I struggled throughout high school and college with whether I should go for my dream job (as an artist), or get a generic degree for a generic job that realistically would give me a steady paycheck. I chose the latter because I would go insane if I had to try to support myself without a steady paycheck to rely on…

In most ways, I do not regret the decision I made, and in today’s job market, I have to realize that I am lucky to have the job I have.
Honestly, I don’t think that there’s a cookie cutter job out there for me. Some people simply don’t have the ability to get paid for something they’re passionate about, and I’m one of them.

I use my job as a way to be able to afford to invest in the supplies I need to fulfill my passions, which is making art and creating in general. This has worked well enough for me.

I won’t lie, though. I do sometimes regret not getting a bachelor degree in an art major. My sister got this chance, and I envy her a bit for getting that opportunity, but despite my lack of passion for my job, I do like my job, and I do get a steady paycheck, so I’m happy with the decision I made.

So, if you’re struggling with this question, try to consider what’s most important to you in life – not necessarily what you want to be, because there might not be a job out there that will be “just right”.

Update: Please see my updated post here on the same subject. After some reflection, I have a different view now.