I received a special request recently for a lined journal, something that I have not yet offered at MisterPenQuin. Because the journal will be used for a sorority celebrating its 100th anniversary, I was asked to use the sorority’s colors, azure blue and white. I accepted the order, never dreaming that azure blue paper for the cover would be so difficult to find. After visiting four stores this past weekend, I finally found solid-colored paper in the desired shade of blue, but it was, to say the least, uninspiring. What could I do to fix that? I browsed through my block stamps and found a few that might be good possibilities for over-stamping the blue paper. My buyer liked this idea, and chose a Stampabilities “Swirls & Curls” design to be stamped in Moonlight White Brilliance pigment ink from Tsukineko®.


I cut the cover paper and thick chipboard to size, and rounded the corners. Using the right tools for this job makes all the difference. I have discovered that the Zutter Round-it-All cuts through heavy-weight chipboard like butter, but doesn’t do a very neat job on card stock. The Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper from We R Memory Keepers, on the other hand, does a crisp corner cut on card stock, but can’t slice through thick chipboard. (We’re talking about 1/8 inch thick chipboard here; thinner varieties will probably work.)


For the first and last pages in the book (the end papers), I decided to add texture to the paper by embossing it with a Fiskars “Dots” plate. Because the Fiskars texture plates have designs that measure six inches by six inches, the same dimensions as the book I was designing, they were particularly appropriate to use. If you are unfamiliar with how to emboss with Fiskars texture plates using a Big Shot, read one of my previous posts, Embossing with Fiskars texture plates and your Sizzix® Big Shot.


While I waited for the glue to dry after I adhered the blue paper to the chipboard, I made a layered paper flower. I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls Mists from Ranger to give it a little dazzle. The doily on which the flower rests is not part of the book, although I did crochet it.


Before I bound the book, I punched the inside pages with my Cinch from We R Memory Keepers, which made things very easy. If you have a Zutter Bind-it-All, this works equally well, but the holes will be rectangular instead of round, and there are a few more steps to the punching process because it is a narrower gadget.


The finished book, I thought, looked tidy and definitely more interesting than the plain azure blue paper with which I started.

Finished Journal

Have you ever had to change directions when the supplies you wanted to use weren’t available?

© 2013 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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5 thoughts on “A lined journal in hard-to-find azure blue”

  1. What a beautiful blue!
    I kept having to rework things all summer because a lot of what I wanted didn’t seem to be available in Hawaii.

  2. I love the swirly design you stamped on the front and back cover!
    The floral embellishment is adorable. Whoever will receive is sure to be super happy 🙂

  3. The finished product is so great! All of the details came together nicely. I think that a lined journal would be a great addition to your shop.

  4. Splendid Little Stars

    What a lovely journal! The blue color is gorgeous especially with the stamped design.
    I’m sure I’ve experienced changing direction and or having to use something else in place of what I was planning on using.

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