Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wedding Bells Album with Graphic 45 Le Romantique

I succeeded yesterday in getting this wedding book finished before the wedding last night, however, my hubbie came in to my studio last night and insisted that I not give the album to the newly weds until after I had finished it with photographs.  So I guess I know what I am doing today after we finish shovelling snow!

This is a simple ribbon bound book and is quite easy to make.  The most enjoyable part of the entire project, for me anyway, was decorating the cover.  Most of the embellishments on the cover are cut from the Graphic 45 paper - I used both "le Romantique" and "Loves Labyrinth" - as well as a wooden embellishment, tulle circles, Martha Stewart Onxy glitter and her new, large butterfly punch, and cream, black and gold paint. I bought all the paper at Scrapbooks-Plus and the rest of the materials from Michaels.

To make this book, you'll need four pieces of chipboard, cut 6 1/4" x 8 1/2"; ten sheets of 12"x12" cardstock (5 - cream, 2 - Salmon Pink, 3 black) all cut to 12"x 8 1/4"; seven sheets of Le Romantique patterned paper (two sheets for the cover and five assorted sheets for the pages inside the book). You'll need the paint (black, cream, and gold), Zip Dry Glue, a paper piercer, thread, ribbon and scrapbooking tape (acid free of course).
To create the cover structure, I glued with a gluestick two of the chipboard sheets togther to create a heavier front cover.  I repeated the process to create the cover for the back of the book. If your edges don't match exactly (mine never do), then use an emory board to sand the edges so that there is no seam.  I painted the edges and about 1/2" in all around the edges on both sides of the back and front cover with black paint.

While you are waiting for the glue and the paint to dry on your covers, you can cut and assemble the pages for the book.  I used five sets of pages (five signatures) for my book.  Each signature consists of three sheets of paper folded in half.  The first sheet and third sheet in each signature is always card stock.  The set sheet is always a patterned paper.  I cut my papers 12" x 8 1/4" (remember measurements are always width times height).  When I fold them in half to created the pages, they will measure 6"x 8 1/4". I used salmon-pink, cream and black card stock and the patterned paper from the Graphic 45 collection.

To sew the pages together, you need to first assemble the five sets of pages and punch holes with a paper piercer in the folds.  I made a template and punched each set at the same time in one inch intervals.  (Always use a template so that you punch the holes consistently in each signature). After punching them, I sewed them together with heavy weight thread that I waxed with quilting bees wax.  The wax makes it easier to manipulate and it holds in place better than thread without it. You will need to cut five pieces of thread about 24" in length.
To sew the first set of three folded pages together, start at the first hole and from the inside out, push the needle and thread through leaving a tail of about 3 ".
Go over the top of the pages and back through the first hole again.

Sew all the way down the signature until you reach the bottom, where you will bring the thread around just like you did on the top and all the way back up to the second hole from the top.

Then you'll double knot the remaining thread with the tail and trim.  You'll repeat this on the next four sets of folded pages.
When you are done, you will stack your pages together.  Notice how I used cream colored card stock on the outside of signature 1, 3 and 5 and used the pink cardstock on the outside (or first sheet) of signatures 2 and 4.  The finished product looks nicer when the colors alternate like this.
After your pages are stacked, you will bind them together with ribbon.  I used American Crafts Premium Ribbon "Greeting"  and selected the velvet salmon ribbon.  I cut eight pieces about 3" long each.  You will start at the top and slide the ribbon under all five threads on the spines of the signatures.  Tape both ends to the outside cardstock.  Here's what it looks like when you've finished.

The final step to make the book is to glue on your covers right to the top and bottom of the pages.  I use Zip Dry because it really holds.  Set something heavy on top of the book to hold the cover in place well while it drys.
From here, it is all fun.  I decorate the inside pages first, before the cover so I won't mess up the outside while I' m gluing and embellishing the inside.  Graphic 45 has some lovely diecut sheets of tags, vintage photos, stamps, borders etc. that make it easy.  I used the leftover 12"x 3 1/2" strips to make pockets and photo mats.  I also bought a number of second sheets to create even more photo mats and journaling spots in the book.
For the cover, I cut two 6"x 8 1/4" pieces of  the Graphic 45 "Key to My Heart" pattered paper and used the scroll side for both the back and the front.  I used Time Holtz Paint Dauber in gold to distress the edges and to add a little flair to the cream-painted wooden photo corner that I added to the top left corner.  I hand cut the bride from the "La Romantique" paper and hand cut extra roses and the photo frame.  I used lots of adhesive foam to get the dimension I wanted.

I hope you enjoy making this book - or something similar.  I have made these books using a number of double sided papers, including Basic Grey and SEI (their Winter Song and Christmas Mint papers look terrific with silver paint on the cover!).
This book is taller than the Wedding Bells album.  The cover is 9 1/4" tall and the signatures were cut to 9" vs. 8". 
As an aside, I had the book together and decorated in about 4 hours (with tons of interruptions from hubbie and small people). It's a lovely project to complete on a snowy afternoon.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wedding Bells

This afternoon, we are attending the wedding of the son of one of my dearest friends.  I bought the newest paper from Graphic 45 "Le Romantique" to make a little wedding gift book to give to the couple today.  However, I had a hellsih week at work and was in no mood to even start on it this week, so I am scrambling this morning to have it ready before we leave at 3:00 pm.  The race is on!  I'll photograph it when I finish but won't have time to get the photos uploaded until at best tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Looking to February

Have you just ever had enough of a month?  January has seemed to drag on FOREVER! It's been cold, gray, and seemingly endless!  So I'm declaring February to begin...and what better way than to scrap a few Valentine-themed pages.  For some reason, I have been into single page layouts recently - unlike me completely but I'll take creativity wherever I can find it.  This is a photo that my 10 year old took of my husband and I at brunch on the Sunday after Christmas.  We went to this lovely little restaurant in Middleburg, the French Hound, and had a delightful meal of escargot, pate' and of course - french fries - for the boys! Lots of photos were taken that day, but this is my favorite.
The paper is from Bo Bunny's newest Valentine line - Love Bandit. The flowers are Ashland's "Fun with Flowers".  I bought four-pack of roses and tore one apart and took out the plastic that makes them stand up so they would lie flat on my layout.  I bought this cute heart pick at Michael's in the floral section. I'm sure they weren't meant for scrapbooking. But it works!

I'd love to do more layouts this afternoon, but I have to teach a Basic Grey class this afternoon.  So I'm off to the gym, off to class and then out to dinner with friends for the evening.  But there's always tomorrow!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Websters and Prima

Two of my new favorite scrapbooking manufacturers...Webster's Pages and Prima.  And don't they just go together so well!  I took a couple of great photos of thistles and a lone butterfly on Skyline Drive this fall, probably the last thistles of the season.  When I saw this spray with the blue and purple butterfly from Prima, I knew it was a perfect compliment to my photos.  But I hadn't really found the right paper until I stumbled upon this beautiful paper from Webster's Pages.  I was looking for the Winter's Wings line (all sold out at my favorite scrapbook store) when I spotted these gorgeous garden papers.  The paper is very heavy and so beautiful that it doesn't need much else in terms of complimentary patterned paper to make it just shine. I had some old paper flowers that I inked a bit with Quick Quotes "tahiti" to tone down the purple.  A couple of punched butterflies, a little ribbon and a title using cloth Thickers from American Crafts and DONE! I love the look - and the layout.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crochet Anyone?

So I have set-out to keep my resolutions this year.  I have been fairly true to my health commitments - hitting the gym at least twine a week so far, eating better and watching the calories.
I also bought a book on learning to crochet and have began to give myself a few lessons on double crochet, single corchet and slip stitches.  This is a little purse that I have been working on in the evenings while everyone else in the house is watching American Idol. (I can watch also, just as long as I keep count of my stiching and hooking!)

I have about seven more leaves to finish and then I have to "assemble" whcih involves a tapestry needle, thread and pearls.  I can't wait to get to that part!  And already I see possibilites for these little flowers.  Of course I'll need lighter weight thread, but how cute would they be on a scrapbook page!!
Stay tuned.

I also have my All About Me Bonus pages completed and a few other Basic Grey designs done.  I'll post just as soon as I get better light to photograph them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Letter to Myself

A few months ago, Scrapbooks-Plus asked me to finish teaching the Basic Grey "All About Me" classes. We are a little behind schedule, so in January we are holding both the December layout and the Bonus layout classes on the same day.  December's theme was "a letter to myself", so in my rendition I focused my letter on three lessons I have learned in life that I rely on constantly to keep me grounded.
1.  Keep faith in God and realize, that no matter how difficult things get, there is a reason for everything that happens and fails to happen.
2.  Life is all about opportunities and choices - choose wisely.
3.  Find happiness in the present.  No point on dwelling in the past.  Look hopefully to the future, but don't always count on it, because tomorrow is promised to no one.
Guiding principles - for me anyway.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January DT Submission Completed: Mission Accomplished!

Seems it has taken me forever to finish the Scrapbooks-Plus DT submission this month. I had the structure of all the layouts finished, it was just those nagging details - you know, the journaling, that last embellishment, and, yes, photographing it all. I took the photos tonight and finished the journaling on the last layout. Tomorrow I'll stop by the store in between meetings in the city and Leesburg to drop them off (yes, I know they are late!), but in the past two years, I've never been late, so we'll mark it as a first.
The manufacturer is Upsy Daisy and the line is Man About Town II. Lots of warm, rich colors.

This first layout is more about glitter than about the photo.  The flourishes and flowers in the design were lovely but they needed something to liven them up.  I used Martha Stewart Brownstone and Antique Silver glitter to make them pop off the page.  I deliberately made the photo small so it wouldn't compete with all my fancy glittering. (how sick is that!!)

I even added an extra flourish and flower from a second sheet of the paper to finish the ensemble.

This "how long" layout is from the page map design for the month. I like the contrast between the boy/winter theme with the girlie pearl flourish and spring butterfly.

This 2009 summary took me the longest time to finish.  So many photos!  It is not my style - too linear.  But serves the purpose of lots of photos in an organized summary of the year.

I thought the title was boring so I added a rub-on butterfly to the chipboard leter.  I didn't think it would work, but it did.

So that's my submission - the last I'm afraid. But no worries; there will be time enough for other musings.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's a new year, a new Decade and a time for new Beginnings

I've been in somewhat of a creative rut...I started to notice it this past fall with the August DT kit from Scrapbooks-Plus - I just couldn't get into it, if you know what I mean. Then I was planting Tulips in late autumn - cleaning up the yard and I noticed what terrible disarray my beloved gardens were in - when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have done little in my spare "me" time other than scrapbook. My yard was a mess (by my standards anyway), I had gained weight again - not all of it back, but enough that I (and everyone else) noticed, and I had not picked up a paint brush, worked on a quilt, or done much of anything else I used to love to do with my free time other than scrapbook. And much of what I was scrapbooking was for other purposes than just for me and my family...lots of class design, projects for others, and DT work. It just wasn't as much fun anymore.

So I have made my resolution for this year to get back to being true to myself. In addition to the health related commitments - yes, I will eat more veggies and fruits and drink less wine as well start hitting the gym again - I am going back to doing the creative things I enjoy most and doing it for me. Yes, of course I will share! But the purpose behind my efforts will be more selfish. I have never posted any of my paintings, for example, because I haven't painted at all since I started this blog. This will change...

And I want to try some new things. I'm thinking about picking up crocheting again. It can be done in front of the TV while my husband watches sports on Sundays, and doesn't make quite the mess of cutting out embellishments for my scrapbook pages.

Will I continue to Scrapbook? You bet I will, although I am taking a sabbatical from teaching after I finish the last "All About Me" Basic Grey classes I'm teaching January 23 at Scrapbooks-Plus. (I'm just a bit burnt out!). Additionally, I did not try out again for the Scrapbooks-Plus Design Team.  After a two-year term, I'll give it a rest for a while.  I'll still do some design work for Basic Grey,and I have tons of ideas to follow through on for my own projects and will be posting and blogging about them.
So stay tuned for a new side of me in 2010. More breadth in my creative endeavors (and hopefully less breadth on my backside!).
Hope each of you have a Happy New Year and resolve to bring more variety into your creativity as well!