Saturday, May 19, 2012

Be Still My Heart

 It is late and I should be going to bed since I have to be up early tomorrow for church, but this couldn't wait. Elliot, my beautiful, almost 5 year old son and first born child, has been asking to craft with me all week and I will admit that I've been putting him off. I feel bad, but every time he asks, I'm in the middle of mine and needing to start dinner. I have been telling him maybe after dinner, but then my husband has been getting home late and there's no one to help me keep my younger girls out of the craft supplies. FYI, ink, glitter, glue and scissors don't ever mix well with new living room furniture when you have a 20 month old running around. Anyway, my poor Elliot just came down with a nasty cold and was feeling awful after dinner, running a low grade fever. We were eating BBQ outside on the back patio and he was just freezing so my husband decided he would build an outdoor fire in our backyard chiminea. However, for some reason Elliot yelled out, no mommy, I want to craft. Can I craft with you?! So sweet! I wasn't even planning on crafting, but how could I resist? Despite feeling horrible, he insisted on crafting instead of resting, so after a dose of Ibuprofen and cold and allergy medicine, we began our crafting. I have been making paper bag albums and so he has been requesting a paper bag, glue stick, scissors, paper punches and ink. He loves the butterfly punch and uses that often. He says he's making an album. So cute! I had some bottle caps laying around and grabbed those and asked if he could use them. Such vision! I said, of course! This is what he made. I had to share.

The only thing I helped him do was punch out the 1" circles to fit inside the bottle caps, but he told me where on the paper he wanted me to punch. He also, on his own, has started drawing flight paths behind his butterflies. It's amazing what kids pick up or what their imagination or creativity creates. Elliot really is a creative child. He is quite the artist. I didn't really even look at his creation since my husband and I were trying to whisk him off to bed. He kept stalling, adding to his creation even though we told him it was time for bed. I talked to him tonight about layering. I gave him a few sheets of patterned and solid cardstock. He cut everything on his own and punched the butterflies too. He was feeling a little stumped on where he was going to place his last piece of cut paper since he was running out room. This is when I told him about overlapping and layering. You can see his use of layering above in picture 3 with the 2 squares of cardstock and the smile stamp overlay (I love his smiley face sunshine). I was so engrossed in my own craft project, complimenting him along the way, but it wasn't until I really looked at it in the kitchen that my heart overflowed with a great admiration and deep appreciation for my son. What a beautiful, talented and creative soul. I had to share!

Spend time with your kids. They want to be with you. They want to be like you. Our time with them is precious!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

2012 Wish List Mini TP Album Tutorial

Ok, I know it's early, but I have been wanting to do some Christmas crafting and at the rate I work, it's good to start early. I have found a fun, new album to create as well. I have heard of TP mini albums and have even seen a few on YouTube, but never made one. I even saved TP rolls for a while and then threw them all away thinking I would never use them, but I was inspired again by Clare Charvill. She has a You Tube Channel, charliejones2686, and she is incredibly talented. She was just recently selected for the Graphic 45 design team. If you haven't seen her work, you really should. Anyway, I have had some of the cutest Christmas paper just waiting to be used. I had used it in an earlier project and have been itching to use it again. It is the Very Merry collection from October Afternoon. I love October Afternoon papers. They are so cute and have just the right amount of vintage. I also had some dimensional chipboard stickers from K and Company that I had bought to coordinate with the collection as well as a sheet of the Imaginisce Gingerbread Village cardstock I found at Michael's and a 12 x 12 die cut sheet from My Mind's Eye 12 days of Christmas line. All of these lines had greens, turquoise, red, brown and pink. My favorite Christmas color combination! The only other thing I used was some ribbon and Maya Road mini chipboard snowflakes that I inked white and then used my glossy accents to adhere some snow white glitter. I had so much fun making it and I think it turned out so cute!
Front cover  2012 Wish List

 If you're considering making a TP album, FIRST save as many rolls as you want pages. I suggest doing this first, because I started with only 2 in hand and then had to painstakingly wait until my family and I had finally gone through another roll of toilet paper before finishing another page. : ) Not only was it hard to wait, but it messed with my creative process. I had some great ideas and then when I went back to execute them, I would forget what I had planned. Not horribly, but enough that I had to make things work. For example, the snowflake on page 6. I cut the paper and had all my embellishments waiting for my TP roll and then when I finally went to execute it, I placed my die cut ribbon too high and had to turn my snowflake so that it didn't cover up the text. It's really not a big deal, but it was at the time because it's not how I wanted it. But, alas, it works and if I hadn't told you, you would be none the wiser. NEXT, take your rolls and squash them flat. Using a bone folder or the edge of a ruler, really flatten the edges flat. THEN, using an iron, I really flattened them out using the high, dry heat setting on my iron. I got this idea to iron them from Clare. Brilliant! Once you've done this, your pages are ready for decorating. NEXT, I cut my paper. My rolls measured approximately 2.5" x 4.5". So, I trimmed my paper to fit, glued it down using tacky glue and then sanded my edges for a nice, clean edge. I always ink my edges, so I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door. Once my paper was adhered, I then embellished as desired.

1 of 3 tags for the kids' Christmas list

Back side of tag

My plan is to use this album to document what the kids want for Christmas this year and to save it as a memento. So, I stamped 3 of the 4 tags made to fit inside each page (roll) and put each kiddos name on it. On the back, we'll write their list. There are 4 tags total. The 4th does not have a stamp. I put Dec. 25 on it and on the back we'll put a picture of the kids on Christmas day with their haul.

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I wanted to keep this fairly simple and so I added only 1 photo mat for each kiddo. I made it a book style mat measuring 2.25"x 2.25" square that can accommodate up to 3, 2"x2" square photos. There are  8 pages total including the front and back covers, but only 3 photo mats, total, with 4 tags. 1 for each TP roll pocket. You could do whatever you want. That's where the fun and individuality comes in.

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Pg 6

FINALLY, I used my bind it all to bind it, but you could bind it with ribbon or binding rings. Clare shows another way to bind with cardstock on her channel if you're curious. There are so many ways. YouTube is a great place for many tutorials. I finished it off by tying ribbons to my binding wire and voila! Done. I can't wait to fill it up!

Back Cover

P.S. Happy Mother's Day!!!!

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mother's Day Acrylic Album

Happy Spring! I hope everyone's enjoying the warmer, even if it is wet, weather. ; ) My family and I have been suffering from a nasty stomach flu this week and so for me to finish a project is a miracle, but I have done it. It seems like finishing projects is a miracle these days whether I'm sick or not. However, Mother's Day is next weekend as you know and I hadn't yet started anything for my mother in law, even though I've had ideas swimming around in my head for weeks. My very sweet and generous friend Brandy, who is a scrapbooking goddess (Paper Crafting OCBrandy Style), sent me a really cute, naked, acrylic tag album in a recent card swap as well as some other goodies. I have never done an acrylic album before, but I think I may have discovered a new favorite! I love that you can layer top and bottom and that if you leave one page blank, you can see the page (see page 3/4. The photo is matted, but the rest of the tag is blank.) behind creating a new dimension. Love it, love it, love it! I also loved the size and shape of this album. It measures about 3x6" and I used standard 2 1/4 x 3" wallet sized photos except for the 1.5" circle punched photos. Those varied. Also, the photo of my husband and I was cropped from a 4x6". I used Restoration collection papers and stickers from Crate Paper along with some MS punches, Fiskars punches and flat backed adhesive pearls. I did some fussy cutting and hand stamping and inked all edges with Tim Holtz Walnut distress ink. It was super easy and so fun! I am very pleased with it. Now, go find something to make Mom. You know she'll love it.
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