Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Teacher's Gift

Hello Hello
What's up?
I have been up to my elbows in photo processing, trying to get the cheer mini book series listed in my Etsy shop, can't say this is my most favorite be completely honest. I will say it is a ton easier having PS Lightroom to aid my processing speed but it's still a struggle for me to decide what looks right because I'm still trying to figure it all out.
Slowly but surely...right?
However for today I wanted to share with you a gift that I made for my oldest daughter's teacher this last school year. She has been a wonderful educator for my daughter, full of enthusiasm and encouragement so I wanted to give her a special gift that she could make her own.
I found out through the Room Parent that her favorite colors are pink and black and it just so happened that I hadn't yet added any color to one of the many mini books I had made for the Pirate Cheer Mini Series here, so I used this extra one that I knew I wasn't going to re-create for my series and finished it specifically for Mrs. Hays...with pink and black.
The actual book is made using the 6 x 9 catalog envelopes, I get mine at Staples, I used 6 for this mini book and folded them according to the measurements I wanted to end up with - which was that my main page would hold a 4 x 6 photo. The covers that I add to the front and back envelopes are medium weight chip board and for the outsides I go ahead and cover them with a black and white pattern paper. On the inside of the covers, I normally wait until I get the envelope adhered first then cut a separate pattern paper piece to fit inside the envelope pocket that I have created and that also covers the rest of the whole...hopefully that makes since, as for the back cover...the envelope covers it so I don't need a second pattern piece.
Another thing that I did on this mini and most of the reason I didn't re-create it for my series is the die-cut fold out flap, I had punched the flaps before I added on my covers-maybe before I even adhered all my envelopes together, but when I did make all the other minis similar to this one I forgot about that part and had already added my covers so my punch wouldn't fit due to all the extra thickness from the chipboard. It was a lesson well learned but it is what it is so this was the only one like it. And I'm kinda happy because it made for a really adorable teacher's gift.
Now I'm hoping from the photo above that maybe you can see the pockets that the envelopes created, when you fold them up and cut off certain get lots of that's what I did. If you look closely you'll see on both sides a pink card stock piece with a tab on it, those all pull out for Mrs. Hays to add her photos to, then there are the journal cards that you'll see on the left side tucked into that pocket - the top card says 'TODAY' on it and there are a few others tucked in behind it, this is where she can document her story if she so desires. 
On the cover I added a strip of diamond bling mesh to cover the spine where all 6 envelopes were adhered together, this definitely adds a flare of elegance...along with the flowers and the muse token, I think it looks absolutely stunning. I chose the word 'knowledge' for obvious reasons and then well the closure that I created for this is just darn cool, it clips closed with 2 bull nose clips linked together with a silver chain, love it.
So there you have it, a one-of-a-kind mini book complete with photo spots for several 4 x 6 portrait style photos and lots of journal spots. Of course with all the pockets this mini has there is a ton more room to add even more.
Hope you like, if you have any questions feel free to ask. I am thinking that since this is one of my favorite mini books I may have to try doing my first tutorial on it, I'm not making any promises that it'll come together but I may have to give it some thought.
Anyhow I hope that all of you enjoy your weekend and get some creative time in there, thank you so much for stopping in.
just B 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Forty and Fabulous

Hello Hello
I'm back again but this time with something different. I had a few more layouts that I wanted to share with you. This one is from last fall when I did like 8 in a weekend after not having done any in almost a year.
Crazy right?
Well I'm at it again, I think that I must just work against the grain, for so long that is all everyone did but not me. Now everyone is doing the pocket scrap booking but not me, I'm kicking it old school now and loving every minute of it. 
I find it ironic actually how I used to be totally against doing traditional layouts because they felt so limiting but now...I find them freeing. I have let go of some 'rules' that I found didn't agree with me and once I did...well the rest is history (as they say) so here soon I'll even have more to share with you.
Now for me with this layout, I don't often get myself in a photo that I like and this 'selfie' actually wasn't too bad so that's why I went ahead and scrapped it. Plus last year I turned 40 and I think (as much as I dreaded it) it does deserve documentation. As for the layout it's incomplete but you still get the overall feel of it and eventually I will find my voice for it as well.
The other ironic thing about this layout is that I used mostly older product from my stash and I like that I think. These days with all the ideas and inspiration on-line through Pinterest and/or Instagram, it's easy to fall back in love with some of the oldies but goodies. So the challenge for you and me this week is to see if we can create one single layout completely from older products...say at least two seasons old, that should be easy enough...right?
Oh and if you get stuck and 'need' something else go to your scraps first and see if you can make something in there work.
***Just try it***
 because I think you might surprise yourself and then if it happens to you like it did for me, all these new possibilities start creepin' in, and all that money spent years ago will finally pay off...YAY!!!
So you see it's a Win Win
Hope all of this helps you out in making the leap back into whatever it is you love about this hobby, whether it be printing new photos, using new vs. old product, or just getting in there and getting it advice...Enjoy It!!!
Thanks for stopping in and here's hoping you have a fabulous and creative week.
just B

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For Today

Outside my window  the sun is shining hot and heavy and there must be a bit of a breeze for I can see my neighbor's trees swaying just a bit

I am thinking  that my 'to-do' list is way to long to get it accomplished today

I am thankful for  not being to worried about NOT getting that 'to-do' list done

from the kitchen  peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches, with cinnamon apple sauce and lays potato chips...milk to drink

I am wearing  my pajamas still or my equivalent of pj's

I am creating  quite a mess in my house what with summer coming to an end rather quickly and trying to get all the little projects done

I am going  to bed early tonight if it kills me

I am reading  The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley and am totally engrossed (hence the reason for the 'to-do' list not getting done) 

I am hearing  both of my girls: one is playing with our puppy and the other is still keeping me company while we finish our lunch

Around the house  there is work to be done: laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc. - doubtful it'll all get done this week

One of my favorite things  is a fresh pot of coffee and a really good book, it can make me really unproductive or is that just considered lazy?

A few plans for the rest of the week  that darn 'to-do' list and most likely some more reading

A photo to share

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wedding Box and Album

Hello Hello
Okay so I warned you all that I've been in a romantic mood lately (probably due to the book I am currently reading)
here's another one...
 along the same lines...
 except this was a wedding gift that a friend of mine asked me to make for her best friend.
(I sure hope her best friend liked it and is using it)
I was honored as you'd expect.

So this wedding box and album are an older project, in fact I think the couple will be celebrating two years this year so I did this back in 2012. But it is still one of my favorites.
I took a huge leap of faith when I did this project. My friend didn't really have anything specific in mind when she asked me to make something and this was an idea I had had for awhile, so when I pitched it to her...
She said Yes!!!
So for the box I painted the entire thing first with gesso let it dry then I used a metallic glaze and sponge painted the entire inside. For the outside of the box, using the same glaze, I painted just the edges including all four corners. Then I measured each side by it's self, cut my pattern papers to each specific side and adhered them with a gel medium.
After that dried I went back over the outside entirely with that same metallic glaze that I started with so that it would have that metallic sheen all over. 
With a few particular embellishments in place, and keeping in mind not to cover up my word 'love' that I so carefully planned ahead of time, I added in some details around the whole using paper roses and pearls. I also added a name plate where I added their wedding date. 

On the inside of the box I left the sides with just the glaze coat, but for the bottom I cut to size a velvet sheet of paper to finish it off. As for the lid it had the same gesso/glaze treatments done to it but to give it a finishing touch I added the pearl lace trim around the entire piece, that alone completely stepped it up to the next level.

Now comes the album, this is an album that I have made for several friends of mine. It is essentially my version of a smash book... wedding style. I promise you it is nothing fancy but that is it's hidden gem...lots and lots of blank space to add photos, journaling, ephemera, ticket stubs, receipts, love letters, etc.
In this version I did happen to shake things up a bit and make a couple of adjustments, for one I added in a pocket page and then I gave two pages a side photo tuck. Now I realize that maybe confusing, but really all it is is a pocket just along the side instead of at the bottom and it's not as deep as it would be if it were at the bottom. Hopefully that's simple enough to understand and clears up some confusion.
One of my favorite parts of any album is decorating the cover, be it the spine or the actual cover doesn't matter, it's all fun. So for this I used a couple of Tim Holtz's Ideology pieces and made my own charm to hang on the spine. The trinket pin says 'treasure' and the philosophy tag says 'wonderful'. 

I love adding the lock and key to wedding albums too, it serves a dual purpose for me, the romantic notion is that Prince Charming has come and unlocked your heart, and then there's the man's version that they are now a 'prisoner' under lock and key. 
(hahaha - funny huh?)
To which do you subscribe?

To finish off the cover of the album I added a name plate to it as well with the couples name in script. I added some flowers and embellishments around and decided it was done...beautifully I might add.
This type of project, although time consuming, is really outside the box (even though it is a box) and the wealth of experience that comes with doing a project like this, even if it's a complete fail, is still so worth the effort. I challenge you to give it a go, see what you can create.
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy the rest of your week...
until next time
just B

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Anniversary Canvas

Hello Hello
How is everyone?
I'm feeling a little romantic as of late so I thought that I'd share an Anniversary Canvas that I made for my in-laws last year on their 50th year.
Ain't that somethin'?  
I find the approach that I take, as to how I decide what to do first, an interesting one. I can't say with any certainty that I really even have anything to do with it really. I just start somewhere, usually a coat of paint...then maybe an image that I printed off from the web... 
then it's as if the canvas takes on a life of it's own, directing me instead of following my direction. Once the piece is complete it's like I have no comprehension of what I had imaged beforehand.
but surprisingly enough, exactly what I wanted...sometimes even more...
For this I knew I wanted the 5 arrows on the music sheet and the music title, "A Lovely Rose" aside from that everything else was accidental. I found the 'marriage certificate' in my collection of vintage images that I had downloaded from the web and thought it would be really cool if that was something you could actually pick up and look at which is where the envelope idea came from.
The lace reminded me of a wedding dress and so therefore it was kind of a must, along with the white beading and the white satin trim, they bring it all together.
In with the certificate I added a 'congrats' label and added them both to a postcard that you could pull out and look at, making this piece interactive...kinda...
Once I gathered all the pieces that I wanted in a sensible fashion I went back in with some smaller details to enhance what I had already started. I began with our family name and then the anniversary year, added lots of roses, some other tidbits and then my favorite 
-> the cameo piece.
(can you spot it?)

The final outcome...

I have to tell ya, after looking at this again it makes me want to do another piece, maybe one for myself this time. I absolutely love working on canvas, it's a whole new world and the possibilities are limitless. Thanks for taking a peek, I appreciate it. If you have any questions please feel free to comment me, I would like to hear from you. Until next time...
just B

Monday, July 7, 2014

TP Roll Mini

Hello Hello
How was your holiday celebration? Fantastic I do hope and everyone made it through safe and sound. Now it's back to life, back to reality huh? Bummer!
I'll wish you and I both a quick and easy Monday
As for right now I wanted to share with you the last style of mini book that I made for my Pirates Cheer Mini Series. Yes you heard me right...the last one finally. Seems like a long time in coming I agree but I saved the best for last.
 This is a toilet paper roll mini and compared to the others it could actually be considered an itty bitty mini
 So like the other styles this one has 6 pages, it has medium weight chip board covers, it has orange pull-out tags, and it has a ribbon closure.
The cover on this one though is NOT pattern paper but instead a BLING mesh that I glued to the orange card stock cover.
I think I may be in love with this bling mesh too by the way, it's super easy to use and oh so sparkly. 
 As for the pages I decided to cover those with the pattern paper from the same stack that I've been using throughout this series and then to dress them up with some smaller die cuts and journal spots that I made using my computer.
 The reason for using die cuts on some of the pages is because a book this small is really difficult for some to get pictures small enough to fit, so I figure you print at home in either a 2 x 2 square format or print in a 3.5 x 5 format and then just size them down accordingly. Me personally, I'm am going to print using the 'contact' setting for my printer, which is 35 photos at about 1 x 1. Once I have them printed I am going to use my square punch that fits around the individual photos the best and just punch it out and go with that.
 Also I mentioned that I did some journal spots on my computer...I wanted to have something that had a lot of room to write on and lines are usually the best in keeping my writing consistent so I created a whole sheet of nothing but lines as close together as I could get them but still being able to 'write' on them using either a pen or a sharpie (which is my go-to writing tool) then I cut them down to fit 'tucked in' to the photo tuck that I made for a couple of the pages as well.
 I added in a few extras such as this pennant to add some interest and then a few paper clips to help keep things in their place.
For the last page I created a 'confetti bag' that I thought turned out really cute, attached a mini label to the top and stapled it so that all it's stuff wouldn't fall out, then adhered it to the page using a Velcro adhesive dot, that way if you ever did want to toss the confetti, you could.

So there you have it, the final book, the last of this series. Any thoughts? I have to say that I am really glad I took on this huge challenge, knowing that I was able to meet a dead-line and still create something that I could be proud of. Now that my local sell is finished, I think that I will over time add a bit more to each of these books and then list them in my Etsy Shop so for those of you who are interested keep an eye out there for them.
Once again I thank you all for stopping in to take a look at my creations, for this hobby is a passion of mine and I am happy to share it in any way that I am able.
Hoping you have a wonderful week ahead!

just B

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bead Bound Mini

Hello Hello

Happy 4th of July

Hoping everyone in my part of the world has a safe and festive holiday! 
Ours is extra special this year, for my Grandma turns 80 tomorrow so we'll be having a huge celebration full of family, friends, fireworks, and tons of fun!
For today however I wanted to share with you another of my minis that I created for my Pirates Cheer Mini Series. We are down to two...I know...finally right?
So this style of mini I actually got off of YouTube from Laura @ FollowthePaperTrail and she calls this her beaded mini, sounded good to me so I kept with it but I did want to give her the credit for it is her idea.
As I have made all of the minis in this series I used medium weight chipboard for the covers of this as well. Using my black and white pattern paper stack I wrapped my covers, then I used white card stock for my 6 pocket pages but matted them with different pattern papers from the same stack to set them apart from the other mini books. For the tag pull out I used an orange card stock.
On several of the pages I used a Sizzix die called - Frame Back, Ornate #3 - that I cut out of glittered card stock, cut it in half and used them as photo tucks at the bottom of the page. Essentially this will help to keep everything in it's place. Of course the pull-out tags are a great place for ephemera pieces and/or journaling.
Now for the binding this is where the bead comes in, the book is bound with seam binding but in between each cover and each page there is a clear pony bead threaded in also to give the whole book some extra room to breathe for when you add in all those dimensional elements: flowers, brads, die-cuts and paper layers.
Also I have added in my own journal spots to give you a  particular place to write your thoughts out plus I have added in a couple of small bags to hold some smaller ephemera pieces so that they wouldn't get lost in the larger pockets.
So there you have it, I believe this is No. 7 in my styles for this series. How do you like my collection so far? Do you think that my book styles are a good choice and do you think that they go together for such a collection? I hope so, I really took it to heart to think it through and figure out what is not only do-able on my end over-and-over but also what I thought would appeal to a younger group of peeps and I have to say I am really happy with it. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to share with me and as always I thank you so much for stopping in to check things out.

!!!Here's to Our Independence!!!

just B

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ribbon Bound Mini

Hello Hello
I'm back, how is everybody? Enjoying some creative time I hope and getting lots of cool ideas gathered up to try on a rainy day. I have several in mind myself for the next cloudy day. 
(secretly I don't even wait for the rain, if it's cloudy I'm most likely craftin')
Now as for today I thought that I'd continue on with my Pirates Cheer Mini Series. Today we are on style number 6 with my mini books. This mini I am calling a ribbon bound mini because quite obviously it is bound using orange ribbon.
As for the covers and pages they are just as I have done for all the other minis. The covers are made using a medium weight chipboard then covered with a black & white pattern paper and the pages are done with a white card stock. There are 6 pages in total which I have kept standard in all of the mini books I made for this collection.
The biggest difference with this mini is the orientation of the pages, so far most of the minis cater to a 'portrait' style of photograph but in this mini I designed it so they'd have a 'landscape' style of photograph.
When coming up with mini books that would offer a wide variety this was one of the first to come to mind. In fact this is the first type of mini scrapbook that I ever learned how to make completely from scratch...that was about 8 or 9 years ago...just to give you an idea. Now when deciding what to do with the pages, again I had to keep them super simple because I didn't want to overwhelm anyone plus I knew that I had to duplicate it several more times and the harder the first one is the harder the ones to follow are. So most of the pages are blank leaving tons of room for thoughts and/or stories, a couple of them have a photo tuck at the end of the page to help keep photos or ephemera in place and then the front page has a little bitty pocket that is absolutely adorable so what the heck.
The back, because of the ribbon, has a simple elegance to it and really finishes off the whole piece. Now as for stuffin' this mini it is not meant for a ton of 'stuff' due to the nature of it's bindings, unless of course that 'stuff' is flat - but it is however geared for the soul searcher, the writer, the poet, possibly even a pen artist and then maybe a few photos of some favorite things to add some visual interest and/or color...least that's kinda my vision for it.
So there you have it, number six in this style which I made ten of. Crazy huh? Yeah tell me about it but I enjoyed making them even if it was a ton of work. If you have any questions you know what to do. Thanks!!!
just B