Friday, February 28, 2014

Gone Fishin'

Hello Hello
How's everyone today? 
just real quick I wanted to share this altered shadow box that I made for my father-in-law back in 2012 for father's day.
Over the last few years (since I got my Nikon DSLR) I've been trying to refine my process of how I upload my photos, then process them, and save them on my lap-top. In this continuing madness I had somehow misplaced these photos, so now that I found them and have processed them...I thought that I'd share. This piece turned out really cool I thought, whether or not my father-in-law thought so who knows (lol).
The first thing that I did was get out my map, I found the area that these two went fishing and then scanned that into my computer. Once I got it pulled into Photoshop Elements I was able to work with the whole piece a little easier-touching up the color, narrowing in on the spot that I was aiming for, and then printed it off onto a 'brochure' paper. 
the next thing I did was figure out how I wanted to attach my photo to the whole piece, I knew I didn't want to adhere it to my background because I wanted their to be a way to change it out in the future if possible. So what I did was make a hanging canvas print.
I printed the photo on to a paper backed fabric, then once it was completely dry I adhered that to a piece of chipboard and finished off the back side. I used my crop-a-dile and punched my two holes at the top and then finished them off with two extra large eyelets. At the top of the shadow box on the underneath side, I adhered two adhesive hook & loop pieces(sold by 7 Gypsies) about a half an inch from the front, so that my photo would kinda swing when it hangs. 
After I got those two main focal pieces in I started on the details. Using lots of pieces from Hobby Lobby's doll house collection, I added on the sand at the bottom, complete with a fishing pail, a fishing net, fishing pole & lure, and then a wooden post that boats use to tie off to. Along the side on the left I added a leather piece to act as a shop sign, and on the right I used an actual fishing hook & line and added a round sticker to it. On the very outside of the box I wrapped some jute and then at the top I added the wooden square letter beads that read, 'a day of fishing'.

So that's pretty much it, I think it is super cool and I had a blast working with the shadow box, will definitely be doing more of these projects this year or at least that is my plan...we'll see. Hope you all have a wonderful crafty weekend and thanks for stoppin' in, I appreciate it.

just B

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Outside the Box Inside

Hello Hello
Welcome back!
Did you happen to catch the post from Sunday?
If not you'll want to make sure you do - it's the 'book' part of this project and today is the 'page' part of this unique project.
What we have here is a baby book a box! 
And let me tell you, it is adorable.
The way that I went about setting up my pages, is by doing it as a file system. Instead of actual pages in an actual book the box is the book and these file folders are essentially the pages.

Another thing that makes this unique is that each page touches on a different part of the baby's story, beginning from his day of birth. 
Each file also dubs for one month of baby's first year so that mom has a place to collect all of the details. Being that this little boy came quite early (almost 2 months early), I was able to start the file folders with the month of January.
For each file the front cover is decorated in more of a traditional scrap book style, sticking with the color theme throughout to keep it consistent.
 Then on the inside of each file you'll notice two spaces that are completely different. The top space is the same in every file, it has the extra large photo corner for mom to tuck several pictures and/or ephemera pieces in as well as a paper clipped ledger spot for whatever kinda of notes mom can think to add in about baby or his story. My thought was that she could add the date, time, and place for each photo that was tucked in that photo corner.
On the inside of the file at the bottom is a particular journal prompt for mom so that she can keep track of all the important details of her young man's life as a baby. On this particular one, the prompt is about family resemblance, who he looks like and how old he is at that time.
The journal cards I used are from 
Ali Edwards @ Designer Digitals. I did alter them just a bit in order to get the prompt in the way that I wanted and I was able to do that through Photoshop Elements. This 'hybrid' format where I mix tradition scrap booking with digital scrap booking is really kinda cool and if you're looking for a way into digital but don't know where to start, I suggest checking out Ali's site.
As for the backs of the files, I used this space for yet another opportunity for mom to get more of the story down. Most of the journal spots on the back are in relation to his physical well-being. 
As a mom myself I know that the first 3 months are nothing but doctor's check-ups so I can only imagine what that means for this momma with a preemie. It's going to be super important to get down those important details.
Then for the other journal spots that aren't related to his physical stats, I just added in some blank journal spots for mom to write down whatever is on her mind.
Those are the kind of details that I think would be really cool to think back on in a couple of years or even when this baby boy becomes a young man, what his mom thought to write down on his behalf is apart of his story too.
For me when I begin a project like this I like to start with a plan in mind. Now that doesn't mean I sit down and draw out a blue-print of the entire process-I'm a bit too organic for that. But I do try to keep a very clear mental picture of what I want the end result to 'do'. I want to have my purpose clear before I even begin-is this going to be a 'showcase' type, an 'interactive' type, a 'documentation' type, or a 'display' type of memory keeping or is it going to be something else entirely.
What it doesn't mean is that I have to stick to any one paper line or any one product line, doesn't even mean that I have to know what it's going to 'look like' at it's completion, but what it gives me is a recipe to follow that will grant me the best outcome.
So lets take this project and break it down.
#1-I knew from the get-go this was for a baby boy - that right there gives me a ton of information (colors, embellishment do's and don'ts, patterns, and shapes).
#2-I also knew at the start, that this was solely for mom - being that the baby's father wasn't in his life as of yet - this effected how I typed out the journal spots.
#3-I also knew that I was going for something different in display but as for the main component something that had the softer lines and more of a traditional color theme. 
So in my 'organic' recipe box I gather bits and pieces together that I think will work well. 
Normally the first thing to go in is the paper, both pattern paper and card stock - like this Staples card stock that I use. Then I decide what the base is going to be: wood, paper, metal, fabric, etc., and whether or not it's going to need to be treated (like the gesso with this wooden box from Hobby Lobby).
Next comes the focal point(s), in this case the vintage images that I added to each side and the top. I usually have, by this point, also grabbed the fabric pieces that I think will compliment the whole-whether it be twine, ribbon, thread, canvas, etc. Then I go to my larger embellishment pieces - borders, die cuts, cut-outs, envelopes, pockets, etc., once they are collected I start in with all the fun little bits and the mini paper clips.
The reason that I gather all of these pieces is so that once I do actually get started I don't have to stop. I know how my creativity works, once it starts and gets rolling I hate breaking it's rhythm so this just eliminates that stop-n-go right off the bat. 
But I also keep in mind that just because I have it all out doesn't mean that I have to use all of it or for that matter any of it. 
This is important... 
because I have that clear mental vision of it's purpose, not it's looks, I can change up anything at anytime and not worry about whether or not it'll all 'go-together'.
Now if we're speaking design tips, then it would be wise to keep with repeating themes. Having consistent elements appear throughout the whole piece creates that consistency and gives the whole piece a more cohesive feel.
The last part of this that I wanted to share are the 3 files that are different than the rest. As you can see in the photo above it's the first file, it's a bit smaller and it opens quite differently than the rest. 
 This file is actually a slider card that I included for those extra special photos, one on each side. On the outside of the file I also added a vellum pocket for the small but super important ephemera pieces that I know I have kept for both of my girls' baby books.
 This file is for baby's first haircut, the slide out on the left is for the 'before' picture and the slide out on the right is for the 'after' picture. What I had in mind when I made it was  Instagram photos, they would be the perfect size for these slider files. As for the vellum envelope, I think a snippet of hair would be awesome to tuck in there and with the magnetic closure you wouldn't have to worry about it slipping out.
The two other slider files I included are:
*the miracle of life - a sonogram photo on the left and a new born photo on the right
*oh my how you've grown - a baby photo on the left and a one year photo on the right
I like comparison pictures side by side like this because it tends to give you a more accurate concept of how much someone has changed over the course of a year and that is certainly worth capturing.
So here you have it, a baby book in a box.

Hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have, and if you have any questions please feel free to comment me. It would be my honor to hear from any of you!
Thanks again
just B

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hello Hello

For today I had said that I would do a follow up to the 'baby book in a box'...
I must apologize 
I just couldn't make it happen as planned


I do hope that you will join me on Wednesday when I will no doubt have it posted and ready for show.
I thank you for your patience and for allowing me a chance to share this awesome project in the best way possible...I really didn't want to rush it which is what has caused my delay, so again forgive me and make sure to check back in on Wednesday to see it for yourself.

until then...
craft on!

just B

Sunday, February 23, 2014

All Boxed Up

Hello Hello
Welcome to my blog! Today is a good day and I am excited to share with you a project that is now included in my list of most favorites. This is a special type of baby book that I made for a friend of mine, guess what...
one of her really good friends
...had a baby!
A Baby Boy
His name is Mason and from what I hear he is a cutie pie. He happened to be quite early too, he wasn't due until late this month-early next month, but he decided to come in January so I think he surprised everyone. According to my friend though, he is doing extremely well being a preemie.
So this is what I created, it's essentially a baby book in a box. I like officey stuff and files for some reason speak to me when it comes to documentation, so I thought this would be a good jumping off point. I also happen to know a few years back this was a pretty cool idea in the world of altered art/home decor. A company by the name 7 Gypsies came out with a ton of new ideas in this area, which isn't surprising as they have had some incredible vision over the last 10+ years. 
In today's scrap world the big names are Tim Holtz and Graphic 45. And there is good reason for this, if you have the time I encourage you to check them both out - I doubt you'd be disappointed, especially if you like vintage anything.
 So naturally for this project I decided to go with Graphic 45's Little Darlings collection (unfortunately discontinued) and a little bit of Tim Holtz's idea-ology trinkets including: tissue tape, mini paperclips, a muse token, and then the letter M from his Vintage Market Alphabet Strip (Sizzix Die). 
 All in all I have one stinkin' adorable baby book in a box. And speaking of box, the one I used was an unfinished wood recipe box type box that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. The first thing I did with the box once I got it home was cover it with a coat of gesso, what this does is allow a clean workable surface for any kind of mixed media, being that I wasn't real sure where I was going with it I figured this would be a wise step. Glad I did too as you'll see later, I did end up adding a layer of metallic glaze. After the gesso dried I then added a few of the larger graphic images from the collection, one to each side of the box-except not the back. Once that was done it still needed some thing more so that's when I added on the tissue tape in random spots, then going a step further I used a postage image that I stamped with black ink over the tape but not over my larger graphic images-as they are the focal points.  
 Once I got the background of the box finished, I then went back in and started on details. I added in a couple of the paper borders along each side near the top, then went along the front lip of the lid with an ivory crochet trim. I liked that so much I did a second and third running trim around the whole box, one towards the top and one along the bottom. Love how the fabric trim really adds that elegant detail to the whole piece and the neutral color fits perfectly with the baby theme, it's light and soft. Adding in more details I knew that I wanted to use my 'boy' stamp, so I inked it up with embossing ink and then used an antique gold embossing powder, the effect turned out wonderful - I like that 'BOY' becomes a part of the main focal as well as the graphic image.  The next detail was the seam binding bow but before I added it on I died it the colors of my paper line to match the whole piece; once it was dry I tied my loopy bow and added it to the front of my box just above the 'BOY'. You'll notice that's also where I added in the Tim Holtz's muse token that says 'geniune'.  
Now on the top I added lots of goodies, the most noticeable of course are the flowers ...probably one of my most favorite go-to items (yes even for boy projects), of course I used baby blue so that it would match as well. I also used another one of the graphic images that G45 always includes in their paper collections, this one I backed with a die-cut doily that I cut in half so that you would see the decorative edge on both sides of the graphic image, then I popped the whole piece up with a couple of strips of foam tape. The last little piece is a wax seal that I actually dripped onto a separate piece of paper and then peeled off so that I could add it to my piece here. 
 Along the back side I didn't do a whole lot, I did do the overall metallic glaze finish like I did with the front once I got all the background pieces in place but other than the crochet trim and my signature card, there isn't anything else I felt that needed to be added, it was done and so completely more amazing than I ever would have thought possible. I am dumbfounded that it turned out so completely...

I do hope that you have enjoyed this as well and I thank you for spending a quality amount of time with me so that I could share this with you. If you have any questions you know where to find me...right here.
Thanks again!

just B 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sneak Peak

Hello Hello

Just wanted to touch base with all of you that I have not forgotten about my promise. If you follow me on Instagram I did happen to say that I was going to be sharing this awesome altered baby book and I intend to...

tomorrow is the reveal day

with a follow up on Monday so I do hope that you will come check it out if you get a free moment to sit and just be inspired.
Thanks again for everything &
Have a fabulous weekend!

just B

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tee Time

Hello Hello
How is everyone living these days?
I have been super busy, I did finish up the second of two custom orders this last week and am about to start on a new idea that will hopefully be successful to me and my little homemade business that I have going on over here. I am still so new at all this Entrepreneur stuff so I certainly have my hands full.
As for today though, I want to share with you a scrap book that I made a couple years back for my nephew, at the time he was a freshman in high school and had made the golf team so for his birthday I made him a golf album. By the way him making the golf team as a freshman was a huge deal, not everyday you see that so this was extra special for the whole family - all golfers! (go figure)
So I started with a chipboard book from Teresa Collins and then also used one of her sports paper kits to coordinate. I do know that neither of these are available anymore but you could certainly check out her other products she does lots of wonderful paper lines, follow this link.
So for my pages I did them the easiest way that made since to me, I took a letter size sheet of card stock and folded it in half long ways which made my page size 8.5 by 5.5, this worked really well for two reasons. The #1 reason is because I made those pages into pockets, I put the open edge in the binding and at the bottom I just added a line of glue so that nothing would fall through. Now I had the perfect spot for lots of extra photos and ephemera. 
*you know me and my ephemera*
The #2 reason is because it fit the size of book covers that I had already had in mind to use. If I need a #3 reason it would be because now I also had a very large space to work out all the rest of the details on. So certainly other photos, maybe ones that he'd like to showcase, could go right on the page instead of in the pocket. Or if he had received any awards, it is possible to scan them-size them down-and then print them off and add those to any one of the pages. I was also thinking maybe a game schedule, that would be good. Just anything that will help to tell a more complete story and what it meant to him to be the only Freshman on an all Senior team.
Of course being a 'guy' album I had to keep my color scheme to masculine colors and I certainly had to keep the embellishments to a minimum and let me tell you, that is hard to do, especially when I had a massive amount of space to fill in. I think that by sheer will-power I pulled it off but I can't say that I enjoyed it all that much. Usually that's my favorite part or very close to my favorite part which is adding in all the extra little details but unfortunately that is also what lends something more of a feminine flare.
So what you see here is what I came up with: there are lots and lots of pockets to stuff 'stuff' in, I made lots of flip ups with journal spots hidden in them,
I did a ton of tags that had a sports theme on them or a sports related message,
and to my surprise I was able to incorporate some die-cuts. The fleur-de-lis seemed to go well with the golf themed items so thankfully I had that to play with, although I was careful not to over do it since it was really the only element I had to use.
I have some ticket stubs and some postcards,
more tags to add bits & pieces on,
and then finally the end - thank goodness! I'll tell you, I love my nephew but I might have to think long & hard before I agree to do any more sports albums, they are just not my cup-of-tea. Probably because I am so far removed from my days of sports and it wasn't as if I was ever any good, so doing this was certainly a challenge.
Now as for the cover I finally got to do something fun! 
First of all this pattern paper I used to wrap the covers with was awesome, it was glossy but also embossed with the texture of a golf ball, just in an extra, extra large size. I wish I could explain better than that but I can't. If you look at the pictures either above or below you can kinda sorta see what I'm talking about but it doesn't do it any justice. 
Anyways continuing on, another element I found to go with the cover was this material that I picked up @ JoAnn's (I think)'s the same stuff those shower scrubbies are made out of - you know that thing that you put your body wash on and then use it to lather the soap on? - yes that material...
anyways for some reason it just seemed to fit with the whole concept so I went with it. I added it to the binding rings along with a fluer-de-lis charm and then a #18 wooden bingo chip that I turned into a charm, that was pretty much it. I used a few letter stamps & clear epoxy stickers to spell out the word GOLF, added in a couple other bits & pieces and was done. 
And if I do say so myself I think that this other wise 'pain-in-the-ass' album (I say that with loving affection) has turned out to be quite charming.
So what are your thoughts? Do you like it? I must say even though this was a difficult project for me, I am glad I rose to the challenge. This is the way I figure it, what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger right? Well same applies here, if I hadn't done it then I'd have no idea what I'd be capable of and what if in the process of making this, I learned a new way of thinking that maybe I wouldn't have learned any other way? That's the way I justify my pain, I have picked up some useful ideas, or thoughts somehow-somewhere along the way and that made it all the while.
So next time you're faced with something difficult, don't immediately turn away from it, embrace it as a lesson well learned and take from it what you can - you may just end up surprising yourself.
Until next time...
                   craft on!
Thanks for stoppin' in

just B

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Senior Grad Album

Hello Hello
How is everybody? Keepin' comfy cozy I hope! If you're trapped in the Midwest with me today, make sure you bundle up because 
it is cold outside.
if you wanna hang around with me for a spell we might be able to warm things up a bit... go grab a cup-o-Joe and then cop-a-sit.
I have a treat for you today! 
I want to share this wonderful Senior Grad Album that was a custom order from a coworker. Thankfully I finally have it done and thankfully she ordered it way in advance. Typically I like to have, at the very least, 3 months to do a custom order for the simple fact that life happens and sometimes it just gets in the way and also (lets face it) some days I just can't seem to find my creative groove (it isn't pretty).
Thankfully today isn't one of 'those' days
So without further ado, lets have a look! The way I originally wanted to start this book was with some basic information about the graduate to get a feel about her: 
where is she graduating from 
is she involved with extra curricular activities
does she have a college in mind
will she be receiving any scholarships
so on and so forth 
Unfortunately I didn't receive much to go on except that I was able to find out where she will be graduating from so my starting point seemed obvious from that...I'll go with team mascot and school colors...simple enough.

An Indian Chief 
Mustard Yellow and Grass Green
Probably not exactly what a graduating senior (female) would find flattering. I mixed it up a bit. I ended up using the grass green as my inspiration and then jumped from there head first. I added in the black right off the bat to give the whole piece some contrast, then thought to go with the lighter shade of green to lighten it up a bit, then said 'what the hell' and added in the teal since it's such a hot color right now anyways. Nothing wrong with being trendy right?
(just say right)
My thought, while creating the pages, was that she would probably be similar to the rest of us who are addicted to all these social media sights. Being young, probably has several friends, all of which are getting ready to graduate, she most likely is taking lots of photos with her cell phone so I brought in another 'fad' idea which is the Instamatic theme or photo theme. We all know how big Instagram is, along with Pinterest and whatever else there is in the way of social photo sites so this seemed 'right' to add in. It's an element that will help relay what's going on in the world today-at this moment-and what a great way to keep that documented in a senior book as well. Think about what her  kids will wonder years from now when they are flipping through these pages.
In the album throughout, I also added several Simple Stories Snap refill pages because if I'm going to regale a photo theme I certainly want her to have lots of places to add those photos in. So now not only does she have the option to add photos directly on a few of the pages, which would be perfect for those afore mentioned Instagram pics, she can also add several into these 4 x 6 photo sleeves.
Now as we all know, usually with photos comes stories...sometimes lots of interesting stories, ones that need to be remembered; so in my efforts to keep with the whole idea of memory keeping, (whether she'll be keeping all of her school years here or maybe just high school or could only be her senior year doesn't make a bit of difference) I included lots and lots of tags, and journal spots, and Project Life cards. There are many, many ways for her to get those stories down in this book.
Okay next I've also included several stickers that all relate to the 'big day'. Most of them are along the lines of the actual day: grad cap, the diploma, the year; but there are a few random quotes in there too that I think will help give inspirational direction. Graduation is a milestone, it's the doorway into becoming an adult and to me that is an important one. We should all encourage and support our future leaders to become their wildest dream of success.
I didn't bother to add photos of the blank pages because they are blank but they bare mentioning because I think that there are some other elements worth documenting from her days actually at school. For example I had a copy of my class schedule, and I had a parking pass, and I think I had an activities pass to get into the school games, then of course there are the ticket stubs from the events, and play bills from our theater department. All of these ephemera pieces add up too, they are apart of the story and should be treated as such, so I left 'open' pages for such said items. 
Lastly I have a couple of string closure type of envelopes that I adhered to the front inside cover of the album and now the back inside cover of the album. I really just liked them but then I thought, wouldn't that be cool for her to maybe jot down just a few career goals or life goals that she'd like to achieve within say 5 to 10 years, and use these envelopes as her time capsule? (Sounded cool in my head at least but you know)
I suppose they would also be a good spot for whatever advice is past on to the graduate, kinda of like a hidden garden of sorts. Anyways, you get the idea.
So there we have it - a very cool Senior Grad book for a young lady to add whatever she deems worthy of belonging in here. 
What do you think? Do you think that she will like it? 
I certainly hope so...I do! 
I thank you and I appreciate you taking time out to look with me, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I'll be happy to answer whatever I can. If you would like to see this album from cover to cover check out the video below and thanks again!

just B