Sunday, December 28, 2014

Baby Boy First Christmas Scrapbook Album

Here's the second of the two baby Christmas albums I've made for a custom order. This one is for a boy, so I used relatively more green than red (compared to the girl version). The green was making the album a little dark, so I used some silver and grey to lighten it a touch. (Video link at the end.)
Click for larger view.
The first hint of grey is on the front cover in the form of a pale grey teddy bear. I used 3 Copic greys to colour him. It took me 20 minutes just to make the bear! The front cover also showcases my handmade gifts and shopping bag.

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This page features Santa. I got this Santa stamp (by Your Next Stamp) recently at Scrapfest. I used three Copics markers to colour his coat: two reds and a brown. I used this stamp in the last book. While I was cutting it out, I was thinking, I don't remember it being this fussy. Then, I realized that I had left a white border around him last time and this time I cut it right along the edges. The gifts on this page are a swing tab. They turn to the left and the panel with the chimney opens.

Click for larger view.
I was concerned that, while the green was helping the book to appear masculine, it wasn't coming out as youthful as the red book. Most of the candy papers are red, so those appear a lot more in the red book. So, I added a boy gingerbread man with blue accents and I snagged another super cute Santa in a chipboard sticker pack on Boxing Day at Michaels Craft Store. I did something different with a couple tags in this album. I partially cut a frame and then left the rest of the tag full. I though it looked quite like a cookie jar - so here we have Santa, the cookie jar we left out for him, and the letter to Santa (which was a cut-a-part from the paper collection).

Click for larger view.

I featured two swirly, glittered Christmas trees in this album. I had to cut them several times to get clean cuts, though. The other tree in the album is blue. If you want to see it and the other features of this album, just click on over to my Vimeo channel to watch the video:

I have used this paper stack to make four mini albums so far and I feel like I've used about 25% of it. So... expect to see this paper a lot!  Also, I made mountains of scraps! Some of them, I used on my Christmas cards this year. For those of you attending my January Workshop, if you want to get a head start on your Christmas cards for next year, I've got the scraps!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! (2014)

Just a quick post today to say:
Merry Christmas!
And to showcase some handmade cards we received. Among today's photos, I snapped some of these hand made cards. Here they are in the order we received them.

Stacked Christmas Tree, Gate-Fold Card from my parent's in-law (made by my MIL, Norma)

The Christmas tree is popped up from another printed tree beneath it for dimension. The red base is also popped up and then Norma added it to a white decorative frame. (You can see the layers better in the second picture, if you click for the larger view.)

I actually walked in on my MIL finishing up her Christmas cards and I had pointed this one out as rather nice. She had already decided it was the one we were getting. While she was somewhat miffed that I saw it ahead of time, she was also pleased to hear that I liked it before I knew it was destined for me!

Pearly Christmas Tree from family friends (made by Claire)

Claire used some flat-back pears to decorate her tree. The base card is also a pearl white. Claire added some sparkle to the boughs of her tree and the star too. (You can see it better in the second picture if you click for the larger view.)

Teal Snowflakes from my Dad and his partner (made by his partner, Maria)

Teal is among my favourite colours! I think it looks great with the grey and desert sand colour combination. These snowflakes are gorgeously intricate too. Maria put some clear bling on the snowflakes and the sentiment. (You can see them better in the second picture if you click for a larger view.)

All three ladies put a stamped sentiment (and hand written thoughts) on the insides. I composed a poem for our cards this year, printed it and then adhered it inside the cards - unless the card was not a standard A2 format. Then I had to write the poem by hand.)

I'm quite happy to get any holiday cards in the mail, whether hand made or not. It shows someone is thinking of you! Hope everyone is having a great Christmas, whatever way you are spending it!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Baby Girl First Christmas Scrapbook

I am not quite finished experimenting with binding systems for scrapbook mini albums. I have the other options ready for the trying but I don't have the time! Despite not having listed any mini albums for sale until I've figured which binding system I like best, I managed to get a custom order for albums!

Based on the Sweet Christmas scrapbook mini album, a lady who has purchased cards from me before wanted to have a couple of Baby's First Christmas Albums. They're not particularly "baby". I just made sure to use some bright colours and some of the same candy-themed papers that you saw in the Sweet Christmas Album. I think those appear sufficiently youthful.

Here's the first one! It's for a girl, so I used relatively more red.
(Click pictures for larger views.)
I made the gifts on the front with patterned paper on cardstock. On one, I used a border punch for the bow. One another, I used a flower die. On the gift bag, I used paper string for the handles. I put the baby's name on a teeny tiny gift tag. I wrote the title with my Brother Scan'N'Cut. That's the first time I've used the pen function on it. The nameplate and closures are Accucut Craft dies that I got on sale. The teddy bear, I stamped, cut out and coloured by hand (with Copic alcohol markers).

The back cover has a pocket-style waterfall made from envelopes (with hinges reinforced with Tyvek). I used my Winterland Tree die by Memory Box twice in this album. It's such a pretty die. I cut the tree in white here, stuck to some adhesive covered cardstock and poured red glitter into it.

I tried something new for me in this album: Swing Tabs. Swing tabs swivel out of the way to grant access to foldout pages. I think it's a fun way to interact with the pages. (Magnets are great too.) The gingerbread man above is an example of one of the swing tabs.

This album does not have pocket pages (by request). I prefer pocket pages because it's an easy way to add space for photos and stories without adding much bulk. In addition, the pockets give me a place to hide the Tyvek hing reinforcement, so the start white Tyvek is out of sight. Best of all, the pockets offer more protection for the photos in them.

Since I was not going to use envelopes for pocket pages and, therefore, had to measure out my pages, I decided to make the album bigger too. This one will fit a handful of 5x7 photographs. My customer does photography, so I thought she would really like to showcase some great photos.

For the binding, I made 3 signatures of 1/4 inch guttered pages. Then I adhered each signature separately to the spine with 1/4 inch spaces between them. So, it looks like a continuous 1/4 inch spaced page range. I used Tyvek to reinforce my page hinges and you can see the Tyvek on the outsides of each signature. That's why I went with white pages: so that I wouldn't have to colour the Tyvek. A non-mini-album maker would never notice it.

If you want to see my first swing tabs in action (and the rest of the album too), click to see the video of this Baby's Girl's First Christmas Scrapbook Mini Album. (P.S. My videos play poorly in Firefox for me, but look fine on Google Chrome.)

The boy version is now in the works!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Scrapbook Envelope Mini Album 2014

I'm still experimenting with mini albums: page designs, binding, construction, etc. Like my previously posted Sweet Christmas Mini Album, this album is also ribbon-bound. The single signature consists of three envelopes.

This time, I made the envelopes from Kraft coloured cardstock with my new A6 die. The base pages ends up at 6.5 x 4.5 inches, so they can still hold 4 x 6 photos, however, the envelope is small enough to cut from 8.5 x 11 paper (unlike my A7, 5 x 7 envelope).

Since the envelopes were darker, I went with a darker set of papers, but still from the same collection as the Sweet Christmas album. I think these colours are a touch more traditional. Plus too, I made this one with a gentleman in mind. I'm conspiring with his daughter to get this book filled with pictures of his grandchildren at Christmas.

I decided to go with a twine closure. I prefer the fiber wrap type of closure because everyone wanted to slide the ribbon off the Sweet Christmas one. To prevent it from getting lost, I adhered the ribbon on the back, so I lived in fear that someone was going to tear it right off! I like fiber type closures because they are expandable (as opposed to magnets or closed, slip-off style belly bands). If the album fattens up once you get pictures in it, you will still be able to close it.

With the pages being made from cardstock, I didn't have to double mat them (cardstock first and then patterned paper).  In fact, I had intended not to! That way, more of the paper would show behind the pictures. But, I do like that solid border, so I did mat them anyway.

I've posted a video walk-through of this album on  my Vimeo channel. It's listed as:

You can click the link to be taken there to watch!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Silver Snowman

This week's challenge over at High Hopes Rubber Stamps is Anything Christmas! Since I freshly got the Frosty Snowman stamp in the mail, I had to try him out.

It is a breeze to colour!  I used Copic alcohol markers and one of my Pro-Marker alcohol markers.
I just love that little look of mischief on his face! I used a holly embossing folder on silver metallic cardstock behind him. I cut Frosty out and put him on foam tape. The sentiment is from a Stampendous greeting set. I stamped the inside too and added Frosty at the bottom of the card as just a grey outline for interest.

Click for larger view.
I coloured the brim of his hat with white glue and then poured Ranger's Rock Candy glitter over it. This card has a simple design, but I think it makes Frosty stand out really well. He's the star of the show for sure! This stamp works for masculine cards too - which I always find are harder to come up with than girly cards.
If only I had a die cut window.... I could put him in there! Wouldn't that be cute? He could be peeking over the top of a present too. That would even work for winter birthdays, since snow people represent winter and not necessarily the holidays. I'm very pleased with Frosty. I think I will make more cards like these for myself to use next year.