Sunday, March 25, 2012

Custom Die Locket Album

This is my newest Accucut Craft die.  I used their Custom Die Service and had this custom locket die made from my hand-drawn designs.  I've designed dies on my BossKut Gazelle before, but I only cut cardstock with it.  The Gazelle can cut chipboard and felt, but I would have to buy a dedicated blade and chipboard dulls electronic cutter blades quickly.  So, I opted for a real, steel-rule die!

Let me tell you, I designed something much more intricate at first. Unfortunately, the intricacies put the price tag through the roof.  So, I simplified it and it was still too expensive. I simplified some more to get the design to within my budget and worried that I had over simplified.

Here is my finished Custom Locket Mini Album.  I think it would make a fantastic Mother's Day shape.
Mini Scrapbook Album Locket

I think it turned out okay.  The layering helps it to look more intricate than it really is.  True to a locket shape, it has the ring at the top for attachment to a chain.  That's where the jump ring for binding goes.  However, lockets also have a hinge at the side, so the base piece has that too.  That's where some side binding can go, whether accordion, stitch or coil bound.  In fact, I think I'm going to make my mother's day card out of this shape and have it fold right at that hinge!

The pages are about 5.5 inches high by 4 inches wide.  I wanted them so that a 4x6 photo could be used with minimal trimming.  However, to let the background papers of the page show, the album is best suited for 3 x 5 photos or smaller.  The papers in this album are from Basic Grey's "Little Black Dress" line.  I love all the papers in that line!

Also in my locket set is a key.  It's bigger than I anticipated.  Great for the album, but perhaps I should have made it smaller for other uses.  Oh well!  There's plenty of key dies out there I can grab.

I originally had wanted holes in the circles on the first border, but the punches needed to do it made it expensive to reproduce on the die.  So, I removed them thinking I could put pearls there.   Enter:

I'm in love with the sprinkles!!  They are SO clear, well formed, and have no little chads (tiny tags marks where they were attached to another sprinkle at some point during manufacturing).  They made my album all better!  They are totally worth having them shipped half way around the world from Australia to Canada.  (The sprinkles are very inexpensive too!) In addition, they have a silver backing (pearls a solid backing) so that if you mapped out a pearl path with pen or maker, you can place your pearl over with with nothing showing though.

Here's a version I have in progress with AnnaBelle's chocolate pearls. I used a Metallic Bazzill cardstock on this one.

I did ink the edges of each layer of the locket with memento black ink.  I think that helped quite a bit with the dimension of them.  But nothing helps more that those beautiful little sprinkles!!

What do you think for my first custom die?  I was really bucking against oval shapes originally. I never use them in my own scrapping but, somehow, a locket as a mini-album just seemed so right!  There's so much use: wedding lockets, family lockets (like a family heirloom), a Gothic Halloween locket... oooo I am going to have so much fun!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stitchbound Tag Butterflies Mini Album

As promised in my earlier post about my first mini album, I have created a video about how I used my Accucut dies to make this mini album.

You do not have to use an Accucut die or an Accucut Grandemark to make this album.  I like the Accucut dies because they are all big.  They make for great albums.  However, any dies of a decent size will do.  Anyone with a Sizzix Bigshot, for example, can make a similar album.  If it can cut through chipboard, it can make this style of album.  The chipboard is needed for the covers, but the key to the pages is folding your paper over and then placing it just shy of one of the cutting blades on the die cut that you choose so that it will not be cut.  It will create a fold instead.  Then you stitch all the folded pages (called signatures) together.

Imagine the shaped albums you can make with this technique! I have a file folder shaped one in progress (like the one in the tutorial I used to learn this technique).  You can use all kinds of frame shapes and even some themed shapes like a tombstone for Halloween or a triangle shaped Christmas tree for Christmas.  The only draw back to a stitch-bound album is that is will not expand to hold bulky pages.  I think it would make for a great family recipe book though!

Here is a link to the stitch-binding technique that I used.  It's a video tutorial by Tricia Morris at Club Scrap.  I love her tutorials because her instructions and demonstrations are very clear and she has a clear passion for what she creates.  I love all the extra samples she shows too.  Too bad the ScrapLounge at TVWeekly is no longer broadcast.

Make the Grade Book - Stitch-binding tutorial from TVWeekly on YouTube

Monday, March 12, 2012

A wonderful weekend

This weekend, though I did work Saturday morning for a mandatory tax season kickoff process seminar, I got to do some crafting.  First, I got to (finally) kick off my 2012 season of fundraising classes.  This class was for January but got cancelled due to multiple illnesses among the participants.  So, I rescheduled it for March.  It was a small class, but it's a start for the year.

What's great about having a class - my hubby cleans the whole main floor when guests come over.  So, he spent Friday night cleaning the main floor and, while my class was going on, my hubby's dad took my car for a good cleaning (inside and out).  It was so nice!!

We used the Stampamajig for the polar bear Joy Fold card.  It inspired me to finally make a card I've been planning for a couple of weeks.  I saw this stamp sent in the $1.50 bin at Michael's.  It's a Studio G set with two little birds and a "Birds of a Feather" sentiment.

I used my Stamamajig to align the birds up on the wire I drew.  The version for my shop has the centre bird popped out on foam tape, but the version for the Smiley Card Team for Kards of Kids at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, it was glued flat to the card front.

The colours on this card were inspired by the Kards for Kids February challenge photo: Let it be Spring.

I'm late, but better late than never!

I also worked on my custom order, which is mucho late, but I have an understanding customer.  (Phew for that!)  All the bases are done - they are just waiting on me to cut out the last of the embellishments for them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Mini Album - Stitch Bound Butterflies

I started to experiment with mini albums while I had some time off between Christmas and New Years'.  I have four on the go but one of them is finally finished.  I made it with the intentions of it being a "friends" album, but then I realized that it holds way more picture than I have of my friends!

Here are a few pictures of it.  I will be doing a video about it some weekend when I have daylight hours to work with.  It's tax time in Canada (until April 30) so I've been coming home after sunset for a while now.

This cover is made with my own flowers (designed on my Boss Kut Gazelle) and a paper quilled butterfly.  

The base of the album is made with an Accucut Tag Album die.  It's designed to be an accordion fold album.  I just put two tags together at a time to make a folded page, and then stitched all the pages together.

I actually used four different Accucut dies in this album: the Tag Album die, two other tag dies and a convertibles frame.  I also used a Quickutz label die, and then two of my own designs: the flowers and the mini butterfly you see above.  All the pages have a pocket, a pull out or a flip up.  All the extra tag inserts are  what expand the number of photo or journaling spots in the album without increasing the page number.

I used a whole pack of Sandylion stickers for the butterflies and flowers on the inside.  These stickers have a clear outline, so I put them on plastic sheets I got from Accucut Craft and then cut them out so I could hang them over my pockets and not have them be sticky on the back.

I will be making more mini albums and offering the naked bits for sale in my shops.  I first have to determine what shapes and styles I like best.

It was nice to get back to a little quilling.  I like how my butterfly turned out, so I might try some more like that for my cards.