Monday, 25 June 2012

Mini Album (photo heavy!)

We have close friends who are expecting their first baby and I wanted to make them something special.  There is a French book binding technique that I have been wanting to play around with for years and this seemed the perfect opportunity to experiment :-)  I read about it in a fabric journal book and it had been adapted from paper binding, so I combined the two!  I think I would change the spines of each signature a bit next time but I still loved it.  The only thing I bought for the whole album was the mouse tail (thin cord ribbon - the next size smaller than rats tail) to lace it with.

It has taken me weeks to complete it and we gave it to them on Sunday when we had them over for dinner.  They almost cried :-) Sorry about the quality of the photos but it is winter and I photographed it just before I wrapped it so there wasn't time to check the photos for quality!

Here is the beautiful binding (and no, I am not blowing my own trumpet LOL! I love the cross-overs).  I used four chipboard signatures (folded pages) but had to keep fabric along the fold (next time I would make this part a bit thicker - perhaps a piece of felt in the gap??) I just made it up as I went along and didn't start with any plan other than how to assemble each signature.

So I painted and decorated each chipboard page using HOTP Retro 8x8 papers so that it would suit either a boy or a girl.  I attached a sheet of double sided adhesive to a piece of fabric and cut it into strips.  I only had a fat quarter that matched so I had to use two strips for each page centre.  Below you can see two chipboard rectangles with the first piece of fabric attached.

This is a completed signature with both sides of adhesive fabric attached.  There is a 1cm section in the centre that is only fabric.  But both sides are stuck together so it is quite strong.

Here are the four signatures stacked and ready for the next stage.  I really wanted this book to be durable so when it came to making the holes I set each one with an eyelet.  I hadn't intended to do that but I am glad I did as it looked great.

Next came the decorating as I wanted to allow enough room in the album for the embellishments so I bound it last.  This was more difficult than expected as I had to be very careful to not damage anything!  So here is the completed book ...
Front cover
The first page - the right side opens up ...
To list pregnancy milestones that they can add dates to.
Then there is a fold out accordion album on the left for ultrasound pictures.  There is even a tag behind for journaling.  The words say "Who will I look like?"

A page for their own writing.
A spot for journaling and photos.  The right side will hold 6x4 photos and  has a few  photo mats in it.
This is all about preparing the nursery.  Note the ManU shirt hanging on the line.  This baby has a ManU dad and a ManCity mum!!!!  This is one argument the dad will win :-)
The left side is a hidden 'top secret' pocket for writing potential names.
It slides up to reveal the names and a poem about choosing the perfect name,
And a page all about the baby shower with flaps on the right to hold 6x4 photos.
My good ol' Cricut got a workout cutting bits and pieces and I used HEAPS of stuff I already owned!  It was a labour of love and I am very happy that the recipients appreciated it.  They aren't crafters (but there is still time to bring them over to our side :D) but they noticed so many details that I know they were actually looking at it and not just being polite.

I think I shall make another mini with this binding ... I might start researching how it is done with paper as it could make some nice books and there are some beautiful papers out there :-)

Have a great week,

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Needle Book

My cousin has a birthday next week and I made her present the other night.  She likes to craft but she does lots of different crafts so in the end I decided to make her a needle book.  I recently bought myself a retro sewing book and it has some great easy projects in it.  I mostly bought the book for the interesting info in it but I thought the sewing projects were easy enough for The Princess and I to do together.  I got the idea for this needle book from there.  The inside has two pockets on the left and two flaps of wool felt on the right for all sorts of needles.  It only took me an hour to make but I really like it.  I think The Princess and I shall adapt the pattern again and make ourselves one each.  I have seen a picture of one with different pages for different types of needles and that is the one I would like to make myself.  I seem to always be looking for a needle when stitching on my pages and this would help to keep them all in one place!

This makes a great inexpensive gift for a crafty friend and it really is just two rectangles sewn together.  It probably only cost me about $3 to make.  The wool felt was the most expensive part!


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Pen License

This week The Princess got her 'Pen License'.  And boy is she excited!!!!!!  At her school, before they are allowed to start writing with a pen they have to apply for a pen license.  To do this they must write three A4 pages of text copied from a novel in cursive using a pencil.  Once it is ready to hand in they attach a 'Pen License Application' and answer questions about why they think they are ready for using a pen.  If both year teachers think it is neat and tidy they are presented with their very own personalised, laminated 'Pen License'!  The Princess has spent a term and a half writing out those pages :-) and so you can probably understand her excitement LOL

The picture was taken on my iPhone using 'Perfect Image'.  I got this app and many other fun photo apps for free from the iPhonography blog featured in my fav blogs on the right.  If you have an iPhone and like to take photos it is a blog I would recommend.  They are great about featuring camera app specials, so I have lots of fun apps that the kids and I play with and they haven't cost me a cent.  Many of the app companies put their apps on sale around US holidays and as there is one coming up soon now would be a great time to check out their blog.  They usually list them all in a post or two when they get discounted, but most of the special prices are only for a limited time so you have to be quick. (P.S. I haven't been paid to say any of that LOL)


Monday, 18 June 2012

An Interesting Challenge

I follow some very lovely blogs and after an interesting discussion HERE I have linked a list of my absolute favourite on the right (I realised that I follow 108 blogs!  But some of these are for work).  I only started this blog for me to waffle and at the same time to try and get an understanding of the mechanics behind operating a blog for work.  So until I read the discussion I really hadn't given much thought to following blogs publicly or having a list on my own.  The jury is still out on the public following part as that could cause some home/work conflicts for me so for now I am going to run with this compromise.  To begin with I was following blogs via the follow button and I was getting too many emails.  I have since thought that perhaps I also signed up to emails ... not sure but it seems the logical conclusion to the discussion.  So if you are in need of inspiration and you are reading this ... go check out some of these blogs -------------------------------------->

You may now be wondering what all this has to do with a challenge?  Well ... since joining blogland I have met (digitally of course) a lovely lady who just so happens to live in Spain and blogs from HERE.  I love the conversational tone of her blog and how she is so down to earth.  I also enjoy seeing the challenges that Alison uncovers.  And recently there was one that grabbed my attention.  It was a challenge set by Scrap Friendzy for a summer camp they are having.  At the time I was only reading blogs via my iPhone and I couldn't access the original challenge as it was on a forum, so I ran with what Alison had posted.  The challenge was to scrap inspired by a s'more!!!  Now I LOVE s'mores and we can't get Graham Crackers over here unless we spend $12 on a box (outrageous!!!) and so I was inspired (and hungry after thinking about s'mores)!!!

To make S'mores you will need:
Graham Crackers (texture) ... twine, fabric, pearls and doily (I would also include the stamping as texture)
Chocolate (2 shades of brown) ... hessian paper and pale brown fabric strip
Marshmallows (something white, and something round) * can be 2 different items ... white doily and while polka dot paper
and last but not least something to toast them on! (something to stick your marshmallows on and toast) ... I failed with this one as I couldn't find anything that suited!

I scrapped an older photo of myself in Indonesia using the Simple Stories Summer Fresh range (I love this one!).  I had lots of fun with this challenge even if I didn't really follow it.  But it got me thinking and crafting and that is a great combination :-)  I didn't journal like I normally do as there are still a pile of photos of this one day and there is really only so much to say.

I am very happy with the way this layout turned out.  Thank you Alison for sharing with us the challenges you find.  Her layout features 6 photos and is lovely.  Alison also managed to find something for each part of her s'mores, unlike my stick-less untoasted marshmallow!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Shimelle's Starting Point

I haven't blogged a great deal this year as my computer was very old (bought in 2005) and it was nearing the end of its life.  I had asked it to do far more than it was ever meant to and the old girl never let me down, but she was finally starting to show her age.  The keys were starting to come off, she was very slow and there were times when she just refused to turn on.  As I NEED my computer for work I have had to baby her for the past year and more recently she stayed on my desk at work for when I needed her the most.  As writing on this blog doesn't earn me a living :-) I had to resort to using my trusty iPhone.  I only made an exception for the first Sunday of each month for Storytelling Sunday.

I am typing this from my very beautiful and shiny new (to me!) computer!!!!  This one most certainly trumps the dinosaur I had before.  She is fast, has a crystal clear display and she is now all customised to my way of working :-)  Who would have thought that 512Mb of RAM would be considered so small in only a few years time.  I can now switch between multiple windows without tapping my fingers waiting for it to catch up!  If I seem a little excited here, you should see me in person LOL

So on to some crafting news ...  This week I took Shimelle up on her starting point.  Work has been chaotic and there are times when it is nice to not have to think to get a project started when you have a spare hour or two in the evening.  I love her starting points.  This week it looked like this ...

I printed some photos taken this year when I started Shimelle's class 'Cover to Cover' but I have yet to get beyond the second lesson (that is another story for later).  I used the photos I took of The Princess and her first sewing lesson.  I love the way my daughter has so many ways to smile.  Some remind me of her younger years and some are starting to creep in now as she gets older.  So I decided to use all the photos!  The papers are from My Little Shoe Box and it kind of came together very quickly.

It really suits her personality and as The Princess loves these papers and all things PINK I am happy with it.  I used a piece of Bazzill In-stitch cardstock to stitch the flower.  The holes were already in it and all I had to do was sew it.  A great idea for the tired scrapper :-) and I have had it sitting in my stash since it was released.

There were two more photos from this day so a few nights later I made a complimentary layout using some My Little Shoe Box scraps.  The background is leftover strips that I had from three different papers and I stuck them together to be 12in tall.  Her first sewing project was a nappy (diaper) for her doll Bell.  The pattern we found online ended up being too small and so it was given to Princess.  It now has the velcro sewn in and Princess wears it proudly every day.

I have other projects to start sharing and when the weather picks up I shall photograph them and try to get this blog rolling along.  Happy Sunday everyone :-)


Thursday, 14 June 2012

I'll be back soon!

My new (to me) computer is here!!!! My brother's friend gets them from schools and refurbishes them. This one is even under warranty and was within my budget!!!! So excited and I will spend the rest of the night setting it all up and transferring everything over.

I'll be back to more regular blogging soon :-)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Storytelling Sunday - June

It is that time of the month again when we grab our favourite beverage and sit down to read stories written by people all over the world.  It is a wonderful idea by the lovely Sian over at From High In The Sky.  If you like a story or three (or 50!!!) why not pop over and have a read and perhaps join in with a tale of your own :-)

With the Jubilee celebrations in the UK I have tried to think of a story that might go with that theme.  If we were still living in Ireland we would have flown over to the UK for the weekend and spent time with The LOML's family in Hexham and enjoyed the celebrations.  I hope that all of you living in the UK are embracing the fun and that the weather is bright and cheerful!  However, nothing suitable springs to mind so I will instead share with you a story about The Princess as she celebrated her 11th birthday this past month.

I Am Getting Bigger - a story about The Princess

The Princess is at a funny age, not a little kid anymore but not yet a teenager.   It is a strange age to be and this is enhanced by the fact that she is the oldest in her class.  Education curriculums differ widely in the early years from country to country, and when we moved back to Australia it was decided that it would be best if The Princess was slotted in a year below her age.  In some ways this has been a blessing as we still have 'a little girl' most of the time, even at almost 11.  But, she was still almost 11, and interesting situations have begun to  arise ...

This photo was taken close to the time of the story.
Most days the children are collected at school by the dad.  He gets the benefit of hearing all the school day stories immediately and full of excitement each day as he drives them to the shop.  By the time they arrive I only get the watered down 'highlight' version.  (Although the kids have realised that it is more fun to share the best news when we are all together and so they wait.  Yay!!!)  On this afternoon both boys were playing sport after school and it was only The Princess and the dad.  She was particularly quiet this day and was probably sitting there thinking about her brothers, as this was the first day that she was on her own in the car this school year.

When out of nowhere she pipes up and says "Dad, did you know I am getting bigger?"
"Mmmm" the dad replied as he wasn't really listening but concentrating on surviving school traffic.
"Soon I will need those things too."
The dad nearly crashed the car!  Thoughts about what 'those things' were flew through his head at one hundred miles an hour, while also thinking that this wasn't his domain and where was the mom when he needed her!
"Ok then" was his tentative reply.  Hoping that it would deflect any further questions.
"You know dad," The Princess said while lifting up her arm and pretending to spray underneath it, "The spray like the boys have."

I am sure you can imagine the huge sigh of relief from the dad that day when he realised that she was talking about deodorant.  He spent the rest of the journey trying to keep a straight face until he reached the store.  We laughed together as he repeated the story to me later that afternoon, while The Princess was occupied with her homework.  This will be a great tale for her 21st :-)

Happy 11th Birthday to our Princess!  She is definitely growing up as this year her birthday list included boots, clothes, jeans and jewelry.  And for the first time there wasn't a doll accessory in sight.