Crafting for Fan Friends: “Thornton’s Signature”

Today I am doing something I usually don’t: I am going to show you something that I have made, but *before* it has arrived at the recipient. Those of you who have been following Flat Richie, know that my latest crafty obsession are junk journals. The little log book that is accompanying Flat Richie, is one such. I discovered junk journal making about a year ago and have been hooked ever since. I have made a good few, sold some, given some away. And right from the beginning, I had *one* particular theme for a custom-made junk journal in mind: Mr Thornton.

Seriously, why is the man not immortalised on a stamp yet?

I had it all in my head, and I started hoarding all kinds of pretty designer paper to make a junk journal with, but somehow the last push was missing. And then I came across a digital kit of images and designs that featured lots of yellow roses. The last piece of the puzzle was there, and I set to creating the journal.

This is already the inside cover of the journal

Rather than make this a big picture post, I have actually done a little “flip-through” of my North and South inspired junk journal and hosted it on Youtube. Much easier to show you my handmade journal that way. It is called “Thornton’s Signature” (in junk journaling terms a signature being one section of papers that is sewn into the book). Total added bonus: You have the pleasure of listening to my weird mixture of Djerman and Irish accents dulcet tones for all of 11 minutes! Watch me stumble and stutter now:

There we are. What do you think? Suitably Thornton-ish? Do you think I should make more of these, for inclusion in the birthday auctions later this year?

What I forgot to mention in the clip: The book cover is made from an old entomology book, hence the butterfly on the cover. It was just the right size, and so I decided to keep it and only cover the spine as well as the title (now obscured by that book plate). I had great fun creating the “ephemera” for the book – those are the decorative elements, i.e. the tags, journaling cards and envelopes, the pouches, collages and clusters etc. No matter how small the scrap, if it is paper, fabric or lace, I can use it.

And of course I had major fun sneaking “our man” into the journal. “I’ve always thought that it can’t be me [the fans] are responding to, it’s the character”, said Richard Armitage countless times. Sorry, darling, but no. I am *definitely* responding to you, because I am usually not fond of paternalistic, free market-loving capitalists. So I am doing him the favour and am creating some NS context. Luckily for us, photography was invented between 1838 (Daguerre) and 1840 (Fox Talbot), so a few images of Mr John Thornton, master of Marlborough Mills, Milton, survive.

As I mentioned in the video, this first Thornton junk journal is going to a very dear fandom friend of mine whom I owe some happy mail. In fact there are two shrines ready to go on their way to her, and now that I can add the journal, I am finally ready to ship. I just hope that she still likes RA. I haven’t heard from her for a long time…

If you think this junk journal malarkey has legs, let me know in the comments. I have a few ideas for other chaRActers up my sleeve, although I am actually quite happy to build another journal around Mr Thornton again, too.

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64 thoughts on “Crafting for Fan Friends: “Thornton’s Signature”

  1. Oh wow, I love love love this! 😍swoon😍 I haven’t had time to look at the video yet because I have to get to work but even without it I’m bowled over. Yes please, more for the auction! Including more Mr Thornton, who somehow seems to fit perfectly with the idea of a junk journal, which is very Victorian in feel, it seems to me. Though a Lucas journal could be fun too!

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    • Oh, I am glad you like this, Helen. Well, I kind of suspected you’d like it – Mr Thornton, after all. And Lucas not far behind, in your affections, that is. Lucas would be an interesting challenge for a junk journal. It probably wouldn’t be a vintage ju jo… but that is exactly the interesting challenge, I guess…

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  2. It’s lovely , it must have taken you ages but time well spent
    My hand writing isn’t the best so I would be very hesitant to write in it lol
    I am already dreading that bit in Flat Richie perhaps I should dust off my calligraphy pens (I did a short course with an expert practitioner ) and practice now.

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    • Ah no, it doesn’t really take that long. Well, maybe a weekend, I guess. Putting the papers together is pretty easy. But making the decorations and the little ephemera, is what takes time.
      I know exactly what you mean re. handwriting and journals. I love notebooks, but I tend to just hoard them because I feel my handwriting is defacing them. What a silly thought – the writing doesn’t matter. It is what is WRITTEN that ennobles the journal.

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  3. This is gorgeous! I love the way the images of Thornton are tucked away and discovered with a turn of a page – I found myself oohing each time he appeared lol.

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    • Hehe, that was the intended reaction, so I am glad you fell for it, Mezz. I had great fun creating it, and I also giggled while putting things together.

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      • I was thinking after I’d posted my comment that it would be fun to see the steampunk aesthetic you used for a Thornton RAPS in a junk journal as well. I’m hoping to make one of my own when I can find the time.

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        • That is a nice idea. A steampunk junk journal. I have to put my mind to that and get scrapping.
          And hehe, I am warning you. Making these books is addictive…

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  4. It’s bloody perfect, isn’t it?
    (That’s a movie quote—nothing to do with RA.)

    You’re frustratingly talented at everything, do you realize that? 😘 It’s wonderful. The recipient will be absolutely blown away. ♥️

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  5. Well well well. I’ll watch the video asap, but I follow you on you tube and I know that it’s can be just wonderful. You are a very very gifted crafter! I’m glad to tell you that now also my sister is addicted to junk journaling, and we got a lot of fun together with a little project of us that involve envelops and tons of tags!
    I love N&S, despite my RL self is not very fond of rambling capitalists (I’m kinda: borghesi! borghesi! ancora pochi mesi!) I must confess that my fictional self is more “oh, massster beelooved, my prescioussss pciù pciù” – so I’m actually drooling over this piece of fan art. Brava.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so delicate and beautiful! You’re very talented and it’s fun to think of how the old items have a new life. I wonder what Ms Gaskell would say if she knew our Thornton obsession??? (I think she’d swoon at seeing RA bring Thornton to perfection…!).

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    • You are hitting the nail on the head, Monica – reusing old things (books and book pages, in this case), is a great but fun challenge.
      Good question re. Gaskell and Mr Thornton. I wonder whether she created her ideal man in Mr Thornton?

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  7. That is really lovely (as is your accent). I wish I had the patience to do something like that! I definitely think there is auction potential there. Thornton… or what about Proctor? Maybe you could incorporate tickets, programs, etc. I have a coffee-table-sized book about Queen that incorporates elements that are like a junk journal, with envelopes and tuck spots where there are old tickets, posters, and even a mini record album. Really fun.

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    • Oh, Proctor… I had forgotten about Proctor. But yes, I think a 17th century junk journal could be an interesting challenge!
      I know the type of book you are talking about – I have a coffeetable book about architecture that is like that, with flaps and envelopes to open, and pieces of paper to pull and to open. Tickets and programs… hm, yes. Maybe if the whole journal was less 17th century Proctor and more “Richard on stage in London”… could be a nice thing, too…

      Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 My personal favourite are the vintage-inspired journals, and the contemporary chaRActers don’t seem to fit so well into those, but OTOH I could experiment with more modern JuJo styles… cos I’d like to have a discreet journal with Porter and Lucas and Daniel, too…

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  8. Oh my! While watching this video I had to reach into my imaginary reticule and keep my smelling salts at the ready. Talk about swoon inducing …..what a delightful way to savor the beauty that is Mr Thornton. Ms Gaskell would absolutely give a rating of 5 out of 5 swoons! 😍 I love all the secret little envelopes and folded papers that reveal surprise treasures. You could spend hours discovering all the magical bits hidden. Your creativity never ceases to blow my mind, G. I love everything about this gorgeous journal. Please, please, please- do consider making one for the birthday auction. ❤️x

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    • 5 out of 5 swoons – that’s a great new metric.
      The secret places, the tucks and flaps and envelopes, are totally ideal for any kind of fangirling use. They can hold lots of discreet pictures of our favourite man – and no one needs know. I love how playful these junk journals are.
      I’ll make sure that I will have one ready for the auctions then 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. it’s a lovely thing and lots of thought and effort has gone it to it, i’m sure your recipient will have their heart warmed when they open the package 🙂

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  10. What a wondrous vobject your junk journal is Guylty – you are super talented. John Thornton suits it perfectly, he looks so broodingly beautiful in faded b&w and I really love the stamps.

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  11. I like the postage stamp images best. Your video voice is very sweet. Not hitting on you, I think you know I like men, but thought I’d tell you, you sounded endearing. 🦋🌷🌼💕

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  12. Oooh, that really is very pretty!! I would not have the patience to do something like this, so all my kudos go to you!
    And so very lovely hearing your voice in the video with just the tiniest hint of German accent in there. 🙂

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    • I think the patience required for making this, is kind of balanced out by the fact that it is a ‘junk’ journal – and imperfection is basically its default. Or so I tell myself…
      The little bit of German in my accent is actually a great talking point :-). When not in Ireland, I often get asked where I am from. People are confused by the Irishisms in my vocab and accent, and then that hint of something else… I enjoy letting them guess 😉

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