Sunday, January 29, 2012

"All life is an experiment"...

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good morning!

I thought I would start my blog off with a quote as today I'm showing you a "smash book" that I created for my dear daughter to capture the important moments in her life.    Smash books have become so popular in the past several months.  As a paper crafter, I thought I could make a homemade one to tailor it exactly to her needs.  There are so many wonderful youtube videos and blogs on it - lots of inpiration, great techniques and good tips.

So here is my take on the Smash book.

I started with a old journal - similar to this one - and removed all the used paper being careful in opening the coil binding as I will re-use it.

I wrapped the cover with 2 sheets of cardstock, added black duct tape down the spine to reinforce it (which I distressed with a sanding block) and then placed cardstock on the inside of the front and back cover.  I also used 7 Gypsies antique brass corners to reinforce them and add a finishing touch.  The band is just an elastic headband but I think we'll replace it with a ribbon which is more to my daughter's taste.

I then cut several sheets of GCD Studios Antiquities into 6 x 9 inches, leaving a 1/2 inch space on top and bottom and 1 3/4 inches on the side.  This spacing is important as in a smash book you tend to use paper clips and other items that stick out but with some spacing everything gets protected by the cover.  I also made a number of tags, pockets and envelopes which I placed throughout the book.

On the left is the inside cover with the first pocket page that shows the paper clips.  

On the right, is one of the pages showing the tag, envelope and lined paper. Isn't the paper wonderful?

I had intended to give it to her as a Valentines' gift but I couldn't wait.  She was really happy and immediately started to fill it. 

Here are a few finished pages to give you some ideas.

This took a few hours to put together - not accounting for the trip to my local scrapbooking store for the metal corners and to the dollar store for the duct tape!  A special thank you to my husband for letting me bounce ideas off of him these past few weeks (and not rolling his eyes!) and for recommending and installing the brass corners. 

The boys in the family are wanting one now and my daughter wants another one for her summer trip to Greece. So it looks like this was a good idea!  I don't have a binding machine yet but I think I'll need to add the Cinch 2 to my wish list. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Craftroom Re-organization

Well it's January and I have been paper crafting for just over a year.  It was time to reorganize my work area.  This seems to be a work in progress, as I continue to expand my crafting tools and learn new techniques.  I now stamp more on cards, I've experimented in alcohol inks and I continue to do more with my Cricut and Gypsy.

In late Fall 2011, I added a cutting station as it was always a pain to move my trimmer to my work area and I needed better storage for the Big Kick embossing tool and folders.  I also needed to find a way to keep all of the recycled materials - chipboard, boxes, and tins.

Here's a photo of this updated area - don't mind the messy shelves! :)

Yesterday, I went to the new Ikea - it is huge and the largest one in Canada.  You can no longer just "run in" to get what you want.  It has 2 floors, several showrooms and a ton of products.  I was looking for Bygel rails and accessories.  I did find the rails but needed to improvise on the storage containers as they were out of the Bygel containers and I wasn't going back as the store is about 30 minutes from home. 

I also moved things around in my drawers and on my desk.  Now everything is at my fingertips - my stamps and inking stuff are in the top drawer, my punches are relocated to the wall, all glues, pop dots on in the baskets, and plenty of room for small wooden stamps, and small tools in the tin containers.  I've also tidied up the white desk organizer and everything fits - brayer, hotfix jewelry tool, crimper, etc.  

I'm happy with my updated craftroom.  I'll probably make a few more changes to tweak things but this is a highly functional space.  Now to organize my binder of acrylic stamps and I'll be all set for the next project!

Friday, January 6, 2012

For A Sweet Boy!

Hope you're enjoying the first week of 2012.  We're slowly getting back to our normal routine including healthy eating and exercising.

My great-nephew turned one in November.  He is such an adorable, sweet boy. 

Cricut - A Child Year Fourth of July (modified) and Elegant Edges
Light blue Recollections cardstock using Cuttlebug Birthday and Polka dot folders
Background cardstock - 3 Birds Paper Stack
Embellishments - Party hat, silver brads for wheels, Stickles, star brad and silver ribbon

See you soon!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year - Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year!  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and are now enjoying 2012.  I've been back to since Monday while my children enjoy an extended break until the 9th.

Looking back on 2011, I really enjoyed expanding my hobby.  What started out with a few Christmas tags, boxes and cards in December 2010 became a real hobby - I will do a full count but I think I made over 100 cards. 

I have the perfect area to craft, thanks to my wonderful husband.  I've researched and bought a variety of tools, paper and other supplies.  I've just sorted through and I must say that everything is being used.  I don't plan on buying much in 2012 other than tape and glue.  I might invest in a better paper trimmer but we'll see. (I will be updating the tools section soon!)

I've been thinking about setting some crafting goals for 2012.  I will share them with you next week.

To sign off for today, here's one of the Christmas cards that I made.  We are enjoying the winter now even the cold and the snow.

Images Cricut Winter Frolic
Embellishments: Puff paint for the snowballs,snowflake brad
Paper DCWV scraps - not sure of the collection
Cardstock base Recollections

Have a great day!