Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Feature!

Today I had intended on coming on to update all the new pages in my art journal since I have once again neglected my poor blog!  I have been working behind the scenes on some new ideas for my site, blog and facebook pages thinking it might be time to start sharing some ideas....soon!

For today though the title is a sneak peek at one of them.  Every Friday (well let's be realistic, probably won't be EVERY Friday, but it will happen on Fridays) I will feature a product - old and new - that I want to expand on with you and share my thoughts, pros/cons and ideas on it.

So lets kick things off with today's Friday Feature - Smash Books!

image from K&Company website

Smash Books are made by K & Company (EK Success) and were released in the Spring 2011 and as much as I loved them right away, they didn't seem to really make their splash here until closer to 2012.  The idea behind them is literally to take your memories and "smash them into a book."  The books themselves originally came in one size - 7.75 x 10.25" hardcover o-wire bound and came with a glue/pen combo stick and 40 double sided printed pages.  Now there are more - mini 5.5 x 7.5" (same owire, but is not covered like larger ones; also has 40 double sided printed pages), Pockets which are 11 x 13.5" (full of folders, pockets and envelopes; 42 pages) and now there are empty Smash Binders! These are 11.5 x 10" three ring style and come empty.  They come in many themes as well - travel, tasty, eco, doodle, couture, just to name a few.

There are so many 'accessories' for this product it is going to be hard to list them all!  Here is a brief list....stamps, markers, ephemera packs (known as Retro Packs), cutter/scissors, pockets, inserts, prompt pads, clips, washi tape, locks and bands for closures.


  • allows your creativity to be free and go wild
  • massive amounts of add on embellishments/ephemera
  • pages are printed (both sides) so your backgrounds are already done for you
  • can make a quick and simple journal of a trip as it is easy to transport
  • the o wires are not large enough for the amount of pages it comes with and therefore does not take into account the added ephemera and memories you add
  • some of the papers may not be to your liking or style so end up be covered again or torn out
  • all the add ons can make it a very expensive journal
I am not going to hammer out too many likes and dislikes that I have about the product as everyone has their own opinion and right to it, just want to give you a few plus & minus'.

Now here comes the fun part thought - this is where I get use my creativeness and fill your head with ideas...
  • MAKE your OWN!  Grab one of your empty binders (ie Bazzill Totally Exposed, Basic Grey Captured) and fill it up with cut to fit patterned papers from your stash;
  • MAKE your OWN with your own binding machine, using a size appropriate for the number of pages you insert, cover accordingly with chipboard or Zutter Cover Alls;
  • look on Pinterest for ideas - that place is loaded! Found this one and this one a while back and they are loaded;**
  • look for inspiration on Instagram, use hastag (#) smashbook - there are thousands!
  • use it as your 'mixed media' or 'art journal' fill it full of your expressions and talents;
  • use it as your personal journal of thoughts;
  • use it as your childhood memory book - either of your own or for your kid(s)!  Write down all those priceless quotes that come out of their mouths;
  • use it as a doodle journal;
  • use it as your personal expression/lettering book;
  • practice your graffiti skills.
** be sure to read this post about Pinterest tips!

Having said all that, I did find this blog the other day and man I will say it got my wheels going and ideas were flying onto my notebook. The name of blog is Elvie Studio and can be found here.  What she has done is nothing short of brilliant!  The link I have provided is from her labels "walls notebook" but I want you to check this one out too, 'Lettering'!  

There is a great selection of SMASH product still available at the site - here is a link to them all. But remember that you can use just about anything as a SMASH book/journal.  Your journal is limited only to your own ideas.  

Here is a link to a previous post to a SMASH book I did a while back.  I took a SMASH book all the way to Turks & Caicos this past February thinking I would write, doodle and document my trip...ya that didn't happen!  I spent my days laying in the sun, reading a book and drinking water (well, there was a lot of water and the insert of beer once in a while) and listening to tunes.  The book is still awaiting to be written in....guessing I may have to use it like Lori did at Elvie Studio!

Have a great weekend - let it be a creative one!

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