Finding a Balance…

Have you ever read a book or heard a story from a close friend that was so thought provoking, it made you want to re-evaluate your current life choices. I just finished reading a great book, “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” by James Patterson. The story is about a mother who writes a diary for her son so that she can pass along life lessons and important moments in her life. I just have to recommend it to all working mothers who struggle with the balance between family and work or other important things in our lives. This was a great reminder of what is most important in life.

This story really touched me and came when I needed it in my life. Between work, the boys, the house, and my husband being deployed, I was struggling with finding a balance. This book prompted me to take a hard look and remind myself that family is most important.Everything else (the laundry, cleaning up after dinner, work) can wait. I also realized that I would love to pass a journal on to my children with the lessons I have learned and my favorite moments of our lives together.

I love these journal kits you can buy from Paper Source. I used the 8″ by 10″ album instead of the journal because I liked the glassine sheets in between the pages. Here are the instructions for the project.

1. Cut your patterned paper to 10″ by 12″. Apply PVA glue to one side of your chipboard cover. Place glue side down on to the center of one of the rectangles (make sure your patterned paper is wrong side up). Cut the corners and use the PVA to adhere the excess paper to the chipboard.

2. Since the kit doesn’t come with chipboard for the spine, you can either purchase additional chipboard or you can use something that you at home. I used a cereal box and I cut the box to 10″ long and and the same thickness as the spine of the book.

3. Cut book cloth to 12″ by 5″. Adhere the chipboard to the center of book cloth. The trick to centering is fold your book cloth in half and draw a line to indicate the center. Then draw a center line on the cereal box. Match the lines up and the cereal box will be centered. Also if you are using a light colored book cloth put the colored side of the cereal box up so that the neutral side is facing down. This will help ensure you don’t see the cereal box design through your book cloth.

4. Adhere the chipboard covers to the book cloth so that there is about 1/4″ between the chipboard and the cereal box. This space will allow for the book to open and close easily.

5. Fold the remaining book cloth over and adhere it to the inner side of the covers.

6. I then used an old metal label from a worn out box that I bought a long time ago at Ikea. I used an exacto knife to make slits in the spine of the book for the metal label before I threw the box in the recycling.

7. Add ribbon to the chipboard where the book cloth and paper meet. I used the PVA to adhere the ribbon. I folded the excess ribbon just like I did the paper and book cloth and adhered it to the inside of the cover.

8. Use PVA on the last page of the book to adhere it to the back cover. Use extra PVA on the mesh. Do not put any on the spine of the book. Apply to the front page to adhere the front cover.

9. I then used an old piece of bubble wrap that came in a package that I got last week to add dimension to the paper. I sprayed the bubble wrap with glimmer mist and stamped it on the cover of the book.

10. Then add flowers and embellishments to the cover and spine.

11. Use the Fancy Frames cartridge to cut out your favorite frame. Adhere to the inside cover and journal in the frame. Add embellishments.

I was really excited about this project. I just have to make three more for my other little ones. I think I will give it to each one on either their wedding day or when they have their first child.

This book by James Patterson has really made me focus on what is important to me… family. I am interested to hear of other books that you may have read or something that you have found to be inspirational. Leave a comment and let us know what you have come across that has helped you with keeping a balance in life.


Addison Paige


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eveline
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:08:59

    I love it!!!! it’s so cute, thanks for sharing



  2. Ursula
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:19:51

    Wow! What an amazing keepsake you created! This is just gorgeous and I love that you shared about family being the priority. So true.


  3. Bunnyfreak
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:23:08

    Love this idea.


  4. Danielle
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 11:00:36

    Very nice! Great picture tutorial.


  5. MsJoyceG
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:56:27

    Thank you .. I always considered “Journaling” a way to get “stuff” off my chest .. Hummmm now it can be a way of “equiping” the next genoration and allowing them to keep in touch with you .. later. My “little ones” have Grandchildren of their own. I don’t think it’s to late for me to give them another look at me and my thoughts on living.
    Thank you very much. I’ll have to get the book.


  6. Mary Lawrence
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 17:52:43

    What a beautiful journal. Love the idea…


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