Saturday, May 19, 2012

Design Team Tryouts Part 2

My second project for the tryouts was my favourite, because I've never done an altered book before.  I've never highlighted or even dog-eared a book page before...books, and especially hardcovers, are pretty sacred to me.  So when I decided on this project, I couldn't bring myself to desecrate any of my own books...I went to the library and bought one of their old books (50 cents to a dollar for any book, great deal).  It was the story of how a little boy saved Cleveland.  I couldn't help but skim through the entire book before setting about to alter it.

First I covered the book in MME Stella and Rose paper, I believe it was the Gertie collection, and used some of the embellishments that coordinated with the paper.  Luckily sold it all in one package, the paper, embellishments, ribbons, lace trim, etc.  Made it SO easy.

I have faux library cards lying around, and since the book started life in the library, I felt it was an appropriate embellishment.  It states that my daughter 'checked out' my heart on the day of her birth, and never returned it.  :)

Inside the front cover I wanted to mention my husband, because after all, he was instrumental in bringing our little girl about.  I distressed and stamped a plain little manilla folder to make it look old.  I also pleated and edge punched the first page of the book and tied it out of the way with a ribbon.

 I used an exacto knife to cut out sections of pages.  There was no method to it, just randomly opened the book to different sections and cut with the exacto as close to the center as possible.  I pressed firmly so that several pages would cut out at one time, then I'd move on to the next section. Then I went through distressing the pages and randomly stamping images onto the background.  Below is my favourite page because it holds a sweet pic of my daughter and I when she was two weeks old.  I trimmed the bottom with lace from the collection.
When I'd thinned it out enough, I started sewing 'pocket' pages using the WRM Sew Easy tool. This tool punches the holes through paper so that you can easily thread

Then I simply cut out photo mats and pennants and such and decorated the pages in a casual way without over thinking it.
I was surprised by how quick and easy this project was and highly recommend it to anyone who finds cheap hardcovers at libraries or yard sales.  It could also be done with vibrant colors, or in a graffiti style, and have a completely different vibe. 
 Enjoy the possibilities!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Design Team Tryouts Part 1

So, I have wonderfully exciting news...I made the Design Team!  Which is fabulous because 99% of the scrapping supplies I buy are from their site.  I'm so honored and excited to help showcase their products.  As part of the tryout process we had to submit a couple of projects, so I'd like to share those with you. 

The first project I did, were two mini albums out of one package of Echo Park paper.  The collection is called Country Drive and it just makes you HAPPY.  It's colors are vibrant and fresh and the patterns lend themselves to all manner of subjects: Summer, Spring, kids, road trips, garden work, family or friends. 

The covers are made out of plain chipboard, cut to 4.5 x 5.5 inches and covered with EP paper from the same package.  I then bound the mini with the Zutter BIA (a recent acquisition I absolutely LOVE).

Each album has three pages, and each page is made with a 12x12 piece of paper that's cut, scored and glued in such a way as to allow for four tags and one two pic fold-out per page!  This offers tons of real estate for pics and journaling.  I can't wait to fill these puppies up.

The inside cover has a slim double slider.  I enjoy double sliders because they're quick and easy to make, add interest and have a fairly slender profile that can fit in anywhere.  Here you can see it in closed position:

And here you can see it in open position.

Overall these albums are fairly slim but full of color and fun and, I was startled to discover, capable of holding 30 pics each!

Tomorrow I'll post pics of my second submission.  Until then, do something creative and enjoy life!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pretty Paper and Embellishments

Nothing inspires me quite so much as pretty paper and embellishments.  Take My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose 'Hazel' collection.  As soon as I saw the metal keys, I knew I had to have it.  We have friends by the last name of Key who are expecting another precious child and I thought they could certainly use an album in which to display their incredibly photogenic family.  If you've never heard of, I highly recommend it.  I was able to buy the paper, trim, die cuts and metal embellishments at wonderful prices.  I'm attaching only one photo because the pages have so many tags, pockets, fold-outs, double sliders, etc...that I'd have to take at least 20 pics to show it all.  So instead I will update soon with a video of all the goodies within.  The cover was inspired by a pic I saw on pinterest, while the actual structure of the body was inspired by Kathy Orta's paperbag album format.  I had so much fun making it and I can see this becoming a standard format for me to display pretty papers. 

Here's a quick video of the inside.  It was actually a tad too quick, I forgot to show part of the foldout at the very end of the album, there were two more photo mats and another tag pocket that are not seen.  I'll re-do the video soon and update.

Thanks for watching, enjoy making your own!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Craft Room!

We've recently moved from a condo to a house; and for the first time ever I have a designated craft room!  Ahh, the space...the luxury of not feeling cramped and cluttered.  One day, as I was strolling through Home Goods, a colorful painting caught the corner of my eye.  A quick double-take confirmed the perfect platform from which to draw the inspiration for the rest of my room.  Bright and fresh it boasted a mix of creams, pinks and greens.  I bought it immediately (How could I not? It was $14.99) and my hobby room, or ' the studio' as I call it during my more lofty moments, took off.  A brilliant lady I met online, Jasmine Ford, gave me advice, on how to organize all the cluttery paraphenalia which go along with crafting; and my dream was born.  A serene yet vibrant oasis in which I can betake myself during the few quiet moments of the day, and shed the routine by jumping into a new creative adventure of my choosing.  I love when one's only limit is one's imagination.  Fly and soar, or float and meander,'s all a welcome journey that refreshes us for the daily grind ahead. 
 I wanted the room to be femine and pretty, so I searched high and low for a French provincial desk.  Well, guess what...they're expensive!  So instead I bought this modern reproduction.  It's huge, roughly five feet by three feet, and when I have a project going, I use every inch of available space...even the pull out shelves above the drawers!

These shallow shelves are from IKEA.  I think they may have discontinued them, but I'm sure they have others quite similar.  They're fantastic for holding small colorful items, and I change out the items on the top shelf every so often.  Scrapbook paper is so pretty, it's almost like having art on display.  (Though the splatter painting is bona fide art by my two year old, it's another idea off pinterest.)

This shelf is my favourite because it has the bird painting which inspired it all.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I also found a green and orange bird tile at Michael's (or was it Hobby Lobby?) for just a dollar. I keep meaning to put it elsewhere in the room, but for now they're together.  The bookshelf below also needs a little help.  It's a work in progress.  An interior designer I am NOT, but little by little, trial and error goes finding a pleasing combination. 
I found the pink tiered stand at TJMaxx, and use it to hold small ribbons, baubles, and flowers. Usually relating to projects I'll be starting in the near future. I'm completely obsessed with three tiered stands, especially since they're all over Pinterest.  I want to make a few, but I'm running out of places to put them.  I've since purchased a larger stand and I'll probably switch it out for the pink one so I can hold more accessories instead of only current project ones.  The little box is empty, and that makes me happy because it means my crafty supplies have room to grow.  :)  The shadow box with buttons was a handmade gift by a friend, isn't  it pretty?  So colorful and happy.  Such a sweet message too.  Thanks Casey!
Originally the room was just a plain square.  I sketched a rough outline of what I wanted and my FIL built in the window seat and shelves.  The seat has storage within and it's where I keep my sewing machine and other bulky items.

This is my view as I paint, scrap, sew and sketch.  It's my happy place :)