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Friday, July 24, 2015

Christmas in July.... almost over

How has your July been?  Mine has been quite busy. My son is not back in school and I'm quickly finishing up my Christmas in July projects. That's not to say that all of my Christmas projects are done, but that one major project that my sister and I work on each July is nearly complete.

 Every year my sister and I make approximately 100 ornaments that we give as gifts to our family members and some close friends. We used to make them during Fall Break from school, or whenever we could find a week to get together. (We live in different states.) But with our children growing up and our school districts not following the same schedule, it's gotten to the point that we need to make the ornaments during Summer Break. Her kids' school year ends mid to late June while mine ends at the end of May or first week of June which pushes our Christmas ornament making time into July.

 For a number of years we have been giving ornaments based on the holiday song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." It's truly been a blessing to have so many verses to one song. It has given us twelve years of themed ornaments where we didn't really have to think about what we were going to do.  This year we are handing out Eleven Piper. Since it's still a surprise for those receiving the ornaments in December I will not be posting pictures of those ornaments today. Instead I'm showing you some that we've done in years past.
I've also created ornaments for newlywed couples based on the location they were married. I usually do this when their marriage takes place in December and give it as part of their gift.

Patience Brewster Dashing Santa found here
Next year we will be on our last verse of 12 Days of Christmas so I have started to search the web for fun ideas for future ornament themes. Here are some fun ideas I have found:

Jingle Bell Girl and Jingle Bell Boy ornaments by Patience Brewster

I'm working on a way to add "appendages" to glass ornaments for a future creation. Fun, right??!!
Myrtle the Elephant by Patience Brewster

 I also have started collecting Nativities. Myrtle the Elephant caught my eye immediately! I've seen camels with nativities before but not elephants. And I do love elephants! If you’ve been inspired by these ornaments like I have, you should check out this artist’s collection of handmade ornaments to see what else might inspire you!

Have you been doing any Christmas creating in July? Any fun ornament ideas that you want to share? or any other Christmas/Holiday ideas that you craft ahead of time so you're ready to go when the festivities arrive? I'd love to hear all about it.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! Have a fantastic day.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Patchwork Baby Girl & Family album

I've been in a huge album-making kick lately. (can you tell?) every time I turn around a have a friend or relative having a baby or celebrating a wedding or some other life event. I don't know why. I just always think to give them an album as a gift. Maybe it's because I hope to retain the "old" tradition of when I was younger and pictures were printed out and put in albums, not snapped and only ever seen via camera phone or tablet screen, in email, or on Instagram. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I do all of those things too. But I know a number of people (me included) who have boat loads of pics that never EVER are seen by anyone because they're never printed or posted. 

My son loves to pull out the picture albums we have and actually look at them all, turn the pages, touch them. And he often wonders where the more recent pics are. Why they aren't in a book he can look through. Yeah.... Time for me to start practicing what I preach, huh? 

Well, anyway, here is my latest album. (Lots of pics!) The style is similar to several I've made in the past. I used the hidden hinge binding system from Kathy Orta (www.paperphenomenon.com).  I needed something I knew how to make quickly since I only had a few days to put it together. I had been invited to a baby shower for a brand new baby girl. She was born into a family of five boys! So I chose a colorful paper set that had flowers for girlie appeal but also not too pink and fluffy so that the pages could be used for the boys as well. I also kept the pages nice and simple with plenty of space for standard 4x6 pictures and journaling. Also lots of pockets so mementos can be added. Starting with a pocket on the cover holding a bi-fold pull-out.

The book is quite wide when opened due to the wrap-around cover. I tried to use every space possible. 

The page inside the front cover has a pocket which holds two tags and a bi-fold pull-out. I created all the tag pulls using my Silhouette.

The pages set up is identical going forward. There is a flap that lifts up with a decorative edge....

....and a side pocket with a pull out tag. 

I also added a small golden yellow gem to the center of each flip up to call attention to that edge just in case there was a possibility it could go unnoticed. 

I cut the half-circle into the base phase by using a Spellbinders die and then used a circle punch to cut the patterned paper for the page.

And we've reached the back... I created pockets all across the back panels.

And tags for each, including two bi-folds for the larger pockets. 

A quick pick showing the spine.

And I was so happy to find this darling flower button in my stash.

Well, that's all I have for today. Thanks again for visiting. Hope you have a beautiful day!

Paper: patterned- Beach Party (Colorbök); card stock- Kraft (Recollections)
Cutting tools: dies - Circle dies (Spellbinders); punches - edge (EKSuccess); corner chomper (WeRMemory); Silhouette and Design Studio, Cuttlebug 
Adhesive: tape- 1/2" (Scor-Tape); 1/4" ATG; glue (Scotch Quick Dry)
Misc: button (Bag-o-Buttons); ribbon (Michael's); gem (JoAnn's); twine (PaperTreyInk); 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Baby girl album

This Hiya! 
Today I have a baby girl album to share with you. It's just like the baby boy album I recently shared but with girlie papers. Before I raced out of town on a week-long visit to visit my sister, I friend asked if I'd help her with a recipe book gift for a nephew that was getting married. She was so happy with it that she then asked if I could help her with a baby girl album for her neice who was having a baby shower this coming week. I don't know the girl so hopefully the surprise isn't spoiled since I'm posting the pics..... Anyway, enjoy! (Warning: picture heavy post!)

Outside front cover

Small pull-out bi-fold found in the front cover pocket

Inside front cover/first page

Small pull-out bi-fold from pocket on inside front cover. Flap on facing page opens to the right. The flaps are held in place by magnets.

Flap on first page opens, second flap opens showing pocket with pull-out tag.

Second page featuring small side flap with cut-apart attached.

Side flap flips open to reveal another cut-apart on the reverse. Flaps on page three open to reveal pocket with pull-out tag.

Page four also has a side flap featuring a cut-apart.

The side flap flips open to reveal another cut-apart on the reverse as well as a small pocket with a small bi-fold pull-out. Flaps on page five open to reveal pocket with pull-out tag.

Page six has a side flap featuring a cut-apart from the stack.

The side flap flips open to reveal another cut-apart on the reverse. Flaps on page seven open to reveal pocket with pull-out tag.

Page eight shows the last side flap featuring a cut-apart.

The side flap flips open to reveal another cut-apart on the reverse with a small pocket including a bi-fold pull-out. The back page, or the inside of the back cover, has a nice big pocket with a pull-out bi-fold. 

My friend was going to go to the store and find some charms to put on the hanging chain you can see there hanging get amongst the ribbons. It was kind of a last-minute decision to make the album. She found the DCWV paper pack at Michael's, but it wasn't until after I showed her the pics of the Chef Album I made a few weeks back that she wanted to add that little bit of something more on the outside also. I had the ribbon scraps and hardware to put the chain together, just not the charms to hang on the chain.

That's it. It turned out so very very cute! My friend wanted something completely unique for her neice'is shower gift. I think I delivered. 

Well, gotta run. Just a few more days until school starts again. My son has oodles of ideas to fill them up! 
Thanks for visiting. Have a terrific day!

Paper: Preppy Princess (DCWV); grey card stock (Recollections)
Adhesive: 1/4" & 1/2" (Scor-Tape); 1/4" (ATG); glue (Scotch)
Misc: edger (EK Success); green ribbon (Martha Stewart); white sheer ribbon (stash); button brads (Recollections); other hardware (Tim Holtz); magnets