Monday, December 4, 2023

Easy Garden Journal + Giveaway

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Happy Monday! I spent the weekend wondering where the base of my turquoise Christmas tree went. I have the three legs, but not the center! So we had to DIY a new stand and now it's very festive in here, even without ornaments. I also gave away a bunch of stuff on Buy Nothing - the crafters in our group are going to make out like bandits this week. For example - I no longer use the 11x17 grid paper pads I used to use for classes, etc. and I had SO many pads of them. It never struck me until I went to give these away how very sustainable my glass mat is. I spent a TON on those pads and the insane shipping cost of them because of their size. So that felt good to clear out some space and make some art teachers & moms happy. 

I also re-painted our curb numbers this weekend. A few notes here. First - this service has gotten so expensive. When we moved here I think it was around $15, and usually done by a kid, which is always money well spent, in my opinion. Now it seems to be companies that come around and do it and it's $100! That's just way too much, so I decided to use my craft skills once again, because earlier this year, I restored our cast concrete house number by repainting the recessed letters black again - they had completely disappeared. The curb was more challenging, because it's a curved, rough surface. So here are my tips. These letters are modular with little tabs, so you put your address together and then tape it to form a single stencil. This tape works great, but you need to mask off outside the tape with packing paper because spray paint does what spray paint wants. I used this white and this black, and holy cow the coverage was great. I put double sided tape on the back of the stencil to try to hold it to the curb, and that definitely helped, but you will still need to put a glove on and press the number stencil tight and flat to the curb for a nice crisp number. I'd also recommend gathering a few rocks to hold the packing paper down on the grass and in the gutter while you work. Also if your knees are only 20 years old, that will probably help as well. 😂 But they look great now and I'm so glad I did it. I'm passing the stencils and paint around my Buy Nothing group for a while too - you don't use much paint, and you want to use spray paint while it's fresh, so share!

This card from this month's Hero Arts kit and release is probably what put the curb painting idea in my head, because the die reminds me of the big bold stencils. Wait until you see all the cute ideas people have with this die. I used the fine tip applicator with white ink to create cinema style dots on the U, and then added a modular sentiment from this add-on set.

Here's what the full premium kit looks like. I think this would be fun for kids. You can see the applicator I used and the inks.

I'm REALLY excited about the next project - there's a whole planner series in this release, and it was time for me to make next year's garden journal, so the timing was PERFECT. I use a garden journal to record what days different plants bloom and come back from winter. This has been invaluable to me in our last two catastrophic storms, because, like everyone else, my urge was to dig up what looked like dead plants and plant again. BUT I got some great advice from our local gardening expert to wait until in some instances - June - because the plants will come back and they will be even hardier if you let them return. They were right!! So by the second storm, I had already learned patience, and started to journal so I knew what to expect, and how long to give different plants. My garden is thriving as a result, so every year I make a new journal. 

This one is a simple one that uses a tape binding, but if you want to make your own, I have a handmade journal class you can learn bookbinding skills in to make journals of any size.

For this one, for the pages, I covered index cards with music paper someone was giving away on my Buy Nothing group. I hinged then with translucent washi tape. Then I created the covers using this stunning cork fabric that has little copper flecks in it - this comes in various colors and it's so soft and beautiful. I used this decorative die to cut the element on the cover and layered it on Pitch Black cardstock so it was dimensional. I used the Months stamps to stamp on gel prints and glued them as titles on each page. I then painted the edges of each page with gold metallic ink from the kit, and also painted little faux tape on the page titles with the same paint. It's so cute and a great size for my gardening apron pocket, which always has a pen, a journal and pecans for the squirrels in it 😍

Finally - here is yesterday's sneaky peeky of the kit. I used infusions with embossing ink for the numbers, then sprayed them and wiped them with a baby wipe. 

Here are what the add-ons look like this month - planner peeps rejoice! You can click any of the images to see the larger photos on the site.

Ready for more inspiration and a giveaway? Leave a comment here and at every stop on the hop to be entered to win a $50 gift card at Hero. Enter by December 10th.

10% off stamps, stencils and dies at TRHD here with UNDERSTANDBLUE
20% off anything at Glassboard Studio  - UNDERSTANDBLUE.
10% off at Sweet Sentiment with code UNDERSTANDBLUE
10% off the whole store at A Colorful Life Designs - LydiaFan10
5% off at LBC here with code LYDIA5
Arkon Mounts -  - 20% off sitewide with code UNDERSTANDBLUE
Bujo/journaling supplies - 10% off with code UNDERSTANDBLUE
10% off everything at Acorns & Twigs with code UNDERSTANDBLUE

The easiest way to navigate the list is from the first stop on the hop, or you can use my list below. 


  1. Lydia, your cards are gorgeous! Love the pink on your 1st card and the texture on the 2nd one. FABULOUS!

  2. I love the idea of a garden journal! Where did you find translucent washi tape? I can imagine using regular cello tape colored to look aged but it would be tricky to adhere just right. Thanks for a great idea!

  3. Love the cards! Beautiful projects!

  4. How pretty the peacock is. And the added color is cool

  5. Fabulous projects! I really love your garden journal - and such a great idea!

  6. Fantastic projects! Love the pink and black card- very fun!

  7. Awesome cards and journal! Love the fun 'thank u' and the pretty peacock!

  8. I love this release. The alphabet dies are really good sizes for my scrapbooking titles.
    Just a note, I wasn’t able to comment on the Hero Arts blog. Do you have to have an account with them in order to comment?


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