Friday, November 28, 2008

Wedding Favors

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

On this slow and easy day (for us non-BlackFriday people), I thought I'd post my final wedding installment - the favors!

We made 96 - yes, ninety-six - of these mini squash books as favors for my sister's wedding. To reduce cost and stress, I tried to stream line the process as much as possible. However, it was still a lot of work.

First, I cut 288 6"x6" squares of white cardstock. These squares were then folded in quarters and then once diagonally. Three of these folded squares glued together form the inside of the squash book.

This is the finished product, but gives you an idea of what the inside is supposed to look like:

Then I cut up three stacks of DCWV Luxury cardstock papers. I needed 192 6"x6" squares for the covers. Then, I needed 384 2 3/4" squares and 1152 triangles (2 3/4" squares cut diagonally) for the inside.

So, my mom and I folded and glued the inside pieces, cut the paper, and glued cover papers on 192 pieces of cardboard.

Then came the part where we recruited lots and lots of help. We needed to glue the decorative papers to the inside of the squash books. I laid out 96 designs on tables (6 tables to be exact) and we set out gluing them. I'd like to thank all of those involved!

Hopefully, this next picture gives you a pretty good idea of what it was like. It took several evenings of gluing fun, but finally we were done!

After they were all glued, I cut 192 pieces of coordinating ribbon and attached them to the covers and the covers to the insides using glue dots and glue sticks. Lastly, cropping 96 photos, attaching them with photo corners (so guests can replace picture with one of their choice) ... and voila!

The end result was quite striking if I do say so myself :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Calendar for 2007 (2006 pictures) - Part Deux

As I said in my last post, for Christmas 2006, I gave both my mother and my mother-in-law 2007 12x12" calendars with 12 scrapbooked pages full of pictures of my children from that year ('06).

I showed you the one for my mother-in-law in my previous post. This post will highlight the other one.

I started with an Elegant Bouquet Paper Pack and Stickease from CTMH. However, that was not enough, so I supplemented with floral papers I selected from my LSS. I found some really great ones (note the embossed vellum one used on the March layout above).

Several layouts are almost exactly the same design as the ones done for the other calendar. Most of them flip-flopped color vs. black&white photos.

Sometimes I came up with a completely different design for one reason or another.

I used metal alphas from Joanne's to highlight the passing of the seasons.

All of the images are in the gallery. You can view them here.

I hope you enjoyed this!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holiday Calendar Mode

Well, now that I've come down from wedding mode, I'm looking towards the holidays.

I will get to a project post. Have no fear. However, you must muddle through a few personal thoughts first.

I've been going through all of my photos. I've had numerous computer problems over the last few months and my organization system has suffered. Now that I have a pretty good handle on them, I'm going through all of the 2008 photos and trying to choose the select few that will make it into the Year In Review calendar. After that, I will design at least 12 graphics. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also feeling a lot of pressure to get it done ...

I didn't take nearly as many photos this year. I don't know why that is. Maybe I've been in a mood, but I think a lot of it has to do with being pregnant and the subsequent birth of my third child. Busy does not even begin to describe my life and tired follows right behind ... for instance, I took the kids to Kid City Museum recently and spent the whole time with a baby strapped to my chest and running after the other two. I snapped a few pictures, but they weren't the best. I couldn't get the kids to hold still and because I had three of them, I wasn't able to just take a million photos where it is inevitable one would turn out all right. Very disappointing.

So, this is where my creative genius must come forward. If you have great photos, sometimes the page just creates itself. It doesn't really need me. With mediocre photos, you must insert a bit more to make it special ... I'm praying for inspiration right now.

But, because I didn't want to leave my occasional blog readers hanging, I will post a project that you haven't seen yet :) Maybe past inspiration will turn into future inspiration!

Two years ago I made calendars as Christmas gifts to give to my children's grandmothers (my mom and Kevin's mom). I thought it was a grand idea. I had gone to my friend Moniqua's first CTMH party and bought the calendars thinking it would make a great Christmas gift if I scrapbooked pictures of my kids for each month. I was right. I just had no idea what it would entail ...

So, each calendar has thirteen 12x12" blank pages (one for each month and a cover). So, that's 26 scrapbook layouts. I started about 6 weeks ahead ...

Short story is that thousands of pictures later, two paper packs, embellishments, an unbelievable amount of glue, and a lot of work later I had two works of art!

The long story ... I printed out almost every photo of the kids from 2006 in color and black & white as well as in 4x6 and wallet size (got two that way). Yeah, it was overkill, but I used several of them and have a lot left over for my own scrapbook if I ever get to it.

I used the Basic Grey Lilykate paper pack for one calendar (needed two of them) and a Close to my Heart paper pack for the other one. However, I didn't have nearly enough paper and a few of the patterned papers weren't what I liked, so I supplemented by buying coordinating papers from my LSS.

I used similar design layouts for several of the pages and once I did one month in one calendar, I almost always copied the layout in the other one with different papers. Occasionally, I adjusted the pictures used.

As I was loading pictures, I realized that I had only taken pictures of the calendar I made for my mother-in-law (Lilykate). I must have thought that I could take pictures of my mom's anytime ... now I have to do it. I can only display five photos here, but I have uploaded them all to my gallery and you can check them out here. Believe me, you'll enjoy them :)

Never again, though. I took over half of the living room floor and spent every night up past midnight to complete them by Christmas. That's why I switched to the digital layouts. At least I take up less space :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Maine Layouts

I hope you enjoyed all the previous posts about the Bridal Shower. Make sure you check them all out.

But, now it's time to move on to new things ... I finished three scrapbook layouts! I actually started them over a month ago, but had to put them on hold because of the wedding.

They are of our recent family trip up to Maine to visit my in-laws. We always have a good time in Maine. The kids love visiting Nana and Papa. This year the mosquitoes ate us alive, but it was still fun. As the kids get older, it gets better and better because they learn to enjoy it for it's true beauty.

Once again, I wish I was better at taking pictures of my layouts. I know most of it is the lighting, but still ...

For these first two, I painted my own background mat. I'm not sure if I like it. The wet paint made the paper warp
The first one is a mix of lime green and white paint. I used Miss Elizabeth papers. I used Basic Grey chipboard monogram letters, but didn't want the bulk so I traced and cut them out on patterned paper. CTMH label and stars.

Same papers and idea for this layout. Painted background in bright blue paint on lime green cardstock. I inked the brown chipboard letters (yes, the bulk was acceptable this time) with CTMH chocolate ink. They are from Making Memories and Basic Grey. I painted the blue ones (the 't' has a painted lime green interior)

Nothin fancy here but a lot of squares. Patterned paper from Miss Elizabeth. Notice the moose on the left. Can't do a Maine layout without a moose. Metal 'togetherness' word from Making Memories.

I took over 100 pictures of this trip, so I tucked the pictures I didn't scrapbook into divided page protectors behind the layouts so that all the pictures are in one place. I'm trying to catch up with some things and I this is a start :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bridal Shower Thank you Cards

No, I'm not much of a card maker. I wouldn't mind being better at it, but it takes such time and patience! I rarely put aside enough time to make one properly and I don't like to make them in advance because I want them to be personal ...

But, I made time for my sister. I thought it would be really cool for her to have thank you notes that coordinated with her shower.

If you were at the shower, you can look forward to getting one of these in the mail :)

So, I sat down while still in major stamping mode (did you read how much stamping I'd done at this point?) and came up with four or five designs. I showed them to Beth and asked her which one she liked best (rather on the sly because she didn't know how we were doing the shower). She picked this one.

So, I bought a few packages of white cards and envelopes from Walmart and stamped away! I made it a bit easier by following a pattern. Instead of cleaning the stamp for every color for every card, I'd stamp all the big yellow flowers (one on each card) and then move on to the next color for big flowers and then do the medium flowers on all the cards and then the smaller flowers and so on.

For all three flower stamps used, I went from yellow, to green to pink to purple to turquoise in order to minimize bleeding darker ink onto a lighter color stamp pad. Even if you clean the stamp between colors (which I did) there was often just enough to cause a problem if you went from purple to yellow. Also, when you're doing this much, you don't feel like double cleaning and drying each stamp each time ...

I matted the center sentiment in three different colors. This isn't a very complicated card style. The stamping is what makes it time intensive.

I toyed with the idea of doing a fancier sentiment. I experimented with glue stamp pads and glitter. It looked pretty, but the glitter continued to shed no matter what and the glitter particles stuck on everything! I don't know if it always does that. Does anyone have tips to make a clean glitter stamp? Also, the glitter colors (I tried three shades of pink and two of purple) didn't match at all. Even if they looked good in the jar, once they were on the stamped image, they didn't go with the card. So ... I gave up on that idea.

I also stamped the envelopes with a little spray of flowers - one in every color (except green because I did a green leaf).

I forgot to take a picture of it, but I also stamped Beth's name on the inside of the card and accented it with different color small flowers. It added a nice personal touch.

CTMH inks: Bubblegum, Hydrangea, Ocean, Citrus Leaf, and Sunny Yellow. CTMH acrylic stamps: Friendship Blessings.

Bridal Shower Photo Booklets

This is where the limit of 5 photos could hurt me ...

Please refer to previous posts about the Bridal Shower to confirm that we were going with a bright theme.

My friend, Moniqua (who's also my CTMH consultant), showed me this booklet and I loved it! So, I asked her for instructions (which she generously provided) and I set about making some. I made one as a gift before thinking that by stamping my own patterned paper, I could make coordinating ones for the bridal shower. I gave one to Beth, each of the bridesmaids, our hostess, my mom, my Grandma, my aunt, Beth's future mother-in-law and Beth's future sister-in-law (they helped with the dessert). I filled many with photos after the event before giving them out.

No two are the same!

Here is one I chose to highlight - the multi-colored stamping with green background.
This is the front with the ribbon tied:

Here is the outside cover of the entire booklet (notice that for the back I stamped directly onto the cardstock base and not on a separate piece of paper):

Here is the inside after opening the cover flap:

Here is the inside after flipping over the first page (on green cardstock base):

For this one, I stamped on a white sheet of paper and wrapped ribbon around it. On some of them, I stamped directly onto the shite cardstock background piece.

Each booklet needed 12 pieces of cardstock (various sizes) cut and stamped and 8 pieces of colored cardstock cut to size. The ones with muliple colors took much more time to stamp, but I think they look fabulous!

As you can see, they look pretty without any photos at all! Believe me, it was hard to cover up such pretty paper with photos!

Bridal Shower Favors

I had come across this post about making your own bags. I thought it was a marvelous idea and experimented with it a bit before the shower came about.

We had discussed a lot of things about the favors we'd like to give, but it almost always came down to lotions or something like that ... so we found a large bottle of liquid hand soap for a good price and decided to go with it. We could have just wrapped some ribbon around the pump handle and handed them out, but I thought of the gift bags and how we could stamp them to match our invitations ... and we went with it. About half-way through I realized I was crazy and we had undertaken a huge project, but we persevered and I think the end result was worth it. I hope the people in attendance appreciated the HOURS we spent slaving over these!

First, the dimensions from the original design needed to be modified to fit the tall and narrow liquid soap containers. These bags were made with one piece of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock. I scored the 11" side at 1" for the inside flap and then made the sides 2.5" for a square bag. The bottom flap (scored on the 8 1/2" side was approx. 1.5")

After scoring and folding the paper, we stamped the outside and the top of the inside (visible when looking in the bag) with the CTMH Friendship Blessing flowers that we used for the invitiations. We used coordinating colors.

After the bags were stamped, we put silver eyelets in for the ribbons and assembled the bags using strong adhesive.

We stamped tags and put a matted mini photo of the happy couple with their names and the year on it.

Coordinating ribbon (from Walmart) was cut and attached, soaps and tissue papers inserted and we were done!

Bridal Shower Invitations

As promised, here are more details about the bridal shower projects (you may want to check previous posts for more information).

Once again, I can only put 5 photos in one post, so let me know if you have any questions as I'll be doing several posts instead of one long one. I also didn't take as many photos as I would have liked if I were to create a tutorial ... but it's too late to go back :)

We'll start off with the invitations.

First, I cut and 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of white cardstock in half making a 4 1/4 x 11" strip. I then scored at the 1" and 5" mark resulting in this tri-fold design:
Then, I scalloped the edges of the flap.

I printed out the text of the invite on bright colored cardstock and cut matching photo mats.

I had created this image of Beth and Ben by erasing the background from a photo, increasing the contrast and brightness and decreasing the saturation. I then layered several bubbly hearts in different colors and put the 'You are invited' text over it all with a drop shadow to make it pop. These were printed out at my local Walmart in 4x6 size and trimmed square.

We then set up a huge assembly line of bridesmaids with two of us stamping the white shells and the other two putting all of the pieces together, punching holes, cutting ribbon and tying them closed.

The end result:

Gorgeous custom invitations in bright, vibrant colors!

Products used: white cardstock, bright cs from Walmart, big scalloped scissors from Dollar Tree, CTMH ink in Watermelon, Bubblegum, Sunflower, Citrus Leaf, Ocean, Hydrangea and Sunny Yellow, CTMH acrylic stamps: Friendship Blessings, Autumn Leaves stamps: Swirls I, misc. ribbon.


My sister is now married to the man of her dreams. The wedding was BEAUTIFUL! Beth chose a fantastic location, the flowers were so beautiful and the attitude was elegant, yet relaxed. Those two really love each other and their friends couldn't be happier for them!

Here is a wallpaper I created for my laptop (click to enlarge):
It's also a way to display more pictures here on my blog :) If you don't know, that's my family. From Left to Right: my youngest sister, my brother, my son, my mom, my dad, my sister (the bride), my new brother-in-law, my daughter, myself, my son, my hubby, my sister.

Imagine the family gatherings when everybody is married with children ... we'll have to rent a hall!

So, now the wedding is over and maybe things will settle down ... or not. We're gearing up for the holidays!