Friday, November 25, 2011

I Made an Altered Book (yes, I did)

Ta Da!!!!! Here it is, my very first altered book! I have been wanting to make one of these for awhile and finally took the plunge and got started a couple of weeks ago. The hardest part of this was actully finding a book I didn't like enough so that I wouldn't have minor heart failure when I began mutilating it! But, I did locate one that I never finished reading (which almost never happens) because it was THAT boring! So I figured it and I would be a lot happier if it were altered in such a way that I would actually get some enjoyment out of it - and use it as something other than a dust catcher.

The second hardest part was figuring out just HOW to cut out all those pages. Every tutorial I could find only had small niches being cut out or had all the pages taken out and a foam block inserted with the book pages glued around the edges - both great ideas but not what I was looking for.

First, I ended up glueing all my pages together. I did this by getting really thick binder clips and clipping the pages together tightly. I then brushed liberal amounts of an acrylic gel medium along the edges of the papers, which pretty effectively sealed them all together.

Once the pages were dry and firmly stuck together, I drew an outline of opening I wanted cut. Here is where I did cheat: I took the book out to my husband who was already working on a project in the garage. He did the next step, but they were easy, and you can do this part, too! With the back and front cover of the book bent away from the glued pages and clipped together. He drilled a starter hole in two opposite corners of the glued pages. He then used a SABER SAW to cut along the outline that I had drawn. A saber saw is a power tool, but you could also use a COPING SAW or KEYHOLE SAW, which are both manual saws. Believe me, the pages are just too thick to use an exacto knife so a saw of some type is the way to go! Once the middle was cut out, I did use my exacto knife to trim out little rough edges left behind and glued the inside portion of the cut pages the same way, by brushing a gel medium along the pages.

After everything was dried, I decorated the inside of my box simply by cutting out papers to fit and inking everything to "antique" it.

Once the inside was decorated, I started working on the outside. I added a border strip along the spine to imitate a book title:

I wanted texture and dimension on the top, so I brougt out my charms and big handmde fabric flowers.

I used glossy accents to hold all my metal items down.

I crackle painted and inked my chipboard letters:

And, of course, all my papers were from my BIRDS OF A FEATHER November Kit, which is one of my favorite, to date!!!

Now that my altered book is finished, I plan to display it on (where else?) one of my bookshelves. I think I will make a very small mini-album to fit inside it.

Are there any altered projects you would like to try or, even better, have tried? If so, feel free to leave me a comment with the link as I would LOVE to check them out and get more ideas for my own future projects!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Lori Whitlock Inspired Layout

First, I want to thank each and every one of you who stopped by to visit or leave a wonderful comment during the Lori Whitlock Christmas Blog Hop this past weekend. The Blog Hop was a huge success, and I can't express to you how much your comments meant to me! (I know, me, at a loss for words - must be the lack of coffee this morning!) Congratulations to Sue D, the winner of the $25 gift certificate to Lori's STORE! Now, on to the regularly scheduled programming...

I know you have seen quite a few projects using Lori's cutting files that are certainly crafty, but not exactly considered "traditional" scrapbooking. For instance, you can use her files to make GIFT BAGS, CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS and more! But I wanted to show that her files can definitely be used (and used a lot) for my very favorite thing - creating a scrapbook layout! I very seldom buy flowers or other packs of embellishments anymore, unless I find something (usually not in the scrapbooking section) that is out-of-the-ordinary. Why? Because I can use my Silhouette (and Lori's files) to make everything else: in exactly the color I want, in exactly the size I want, and exactly the number I want.

For this project, I used Lori's flowers and banner found in the Silhouette STORE as well as the following found in Lori's online STORE: FALL LEAF LACE, FALL LEAF FLOURISH, FALL SET, 12x12 BACKGROUND PACK 2, and THANKSGIVING TITLES. Papers were from my Birds of a Feather November Kit found HERE.

I simply added ink and a little crackle paint to give my paper shapes a little dimension so the end results ended up looking like this:

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving - full of food, family and friends, and maybe a little crafty fun added in! I will be back Friday with an altered book to share with you! See you then!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lori Whitlock Christmas Blog Hop

Happy Friday morning everyone! Lori and the rest of the team (including me) have a fantastic couple of days planned for you! Why? Because we have decided to kick off the holidays by having our very first Design Team Blog Hop. I am so glad you are joining in the celebration with us!

Now, if you are just joining in and want to hop along with us, you need to start at Lori's BLOG.

If you were just at Joy's WEBSITE before you came here, you are at the right place!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you know what that means, right? Well, yes, it does mean we have to get out our fat jeans with the elastic waist bands but, more importantly, it means that we need to get started on all those cute Christmas projects and gifts we said we were finally going to make this year. To help get you in the holiday mood, the rest of the Design Team and I have been busy working on some fun Christmas projects . And...

To help get you even MORE in the holiday mood... EVERYTHING IN LORI'S ONLINE SHOP IS 25% OFF THIS WEEKEND (now through Sunday)!
That's right, there is nothing like a good sale to help put you in the spirit of Christmas, right?!

But wait! That's not all!

Better than a ginsu knife, better than a light that turns on and off when you clap, Lori is giving away a $25 gift card to her online shop to one lucky winner. AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN THE PRIZE IS SIMPLY TO LEAVE A COMMENT AT EACH STOP ALONG THE BLOG HOP. Lori will choose the winner from everyone who leaves a comment at all seven stops along the way and then post the winner on her blog on Sunday. It doesn't get much easier than that.

And as an extra special thank-you for stopping by to say hi, Lori has designed a gift tag set that will definitely come in handy over the holidays.
She's going to be selling the entire set soon. But - right now you can pick one up FOR FREE at each stop along the way. So, be sure to visit each blog and grab the free SVG/DXF tag. You can download my tag HERE!

Now, want to see what I've made using Lori's wonderful cutting files that I got from her online store (as well as from the Silhouette Store)?

You know I have been on a mini-album kick lately. I think it's because I just recently started making them, and I feel like I have a lot of lost time to make up for!!! No, seriously, they fascinate me - plain and simple. And cutting files (like Lori's) are PERFECT for decorating and embellishing them. In fact, I even used one of Lori's mini-album cutting files to make the actual album. See?
Those adorable stockings are from her Christmas Set 2, and she has lots of wonderful Christmas PHRASES as well.
On the inside of my cover, I simply made a small tag holder and then layered a small card on top. Both are great for squeezing in extra journaling or one more picture.

I used the tree from Christmas Set 2 on this page:
...and the snowflake from the same set that I cut in two and placed behind two corners of my photo:

Here, the flower and the frame are two of Lori's files sold at the Silhouette store. (Check out the journaling pocket and card behind the photo)

Using another snowflake, this time as a larger background shape:

And look at these cute little library pocket card holders.
Sure you can use them to hold things like gift cards. But I prefer to use mine in my album to hold extra tags with photos and journaling.

Last two pages. Don't you just love that banner? Lori designed it, of course.

And that's it! I hope you have enjoyed looking at my mini-album as much as I have enjoyed making it.

Now, just one more stop at Tamara's BLOG and then it will be time for YOU to start your own crafty project! Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

File Folder Mini-Album Tutorial and Blog-Hop News

So, this is my very first ever video tutorial that I did for BIRDS OF A FEATHER. I am sure my videos will get a little more polished, but I am pretty darned happy with this as a first effort! I would love to know what you think! (P.S. - stay tuned all the way through for a sneak peek at my favorite assistant who makes a brief appearance)

And....for my other fun news...I have a special treat for you this weekend! (insert drum roll here)

That's right, this weekend Lori Whitlock and her design team (that includes me!!!) is having our very first design team blog hop! Come join us for some inspiration and a chance to win a $25 gift card to purchase items from The hop starts at Lori's BLOG, so be sure to head there first. It’s gonna be FUN!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

BOAF File Folder Mini Album with Pockets

Christmas is right around the corner and I am busily crafting gifts for family members and friends here at Casa de Chaas! I recently learned how to make a file folder mini-album (because you know I am ALL about the mini-albums these days! File folder mini albums are GREAT because 1) they have all these neat little pockets which allow you to easily include extra photos or journaling tags, and 2) they are small enough so they can be easily mailed out in a small manila envelope, which means no crazy, crowded trips to the post office are needed to box them up and send them out!

I used my wonderfully coordinated November kit from Birds of a Feather, of course. All the gorgeous papers and embellies from Simple Stories Generations and Bo Bunny's Timeless that are included in this month's kit are perfect for my mini-album featuring some of my favorite family pictures taken this past year. My mini-album is going to be a gift to my mom, who doesn't live close by, so she can have a record of what her family has been doing throughout the year. It also helps that it's small enough so she can easily carry it around and pretty enough that she will want to show it off to all her friends! (I'm a good daughter that way!)

This mini-album has so many little pockets. Here are the tags containing extra photos from the cover of the album:

If you open the mini to to the left, you get this:

The pocket on the far left contains another picture:

And the front of the album flips down to reveal two more pages:

With a pocket for even more pictures, of course:
and back...

If you open my file folder album to the right, you get this:
The page on the far right is the back of the album, but of course, you could add another picture or journaling if you wanted. I plan to write a message to my Mama on that page.

See the middle section? Yes, it flips down for more pockets and more pages for pictures!

Want to know how I made this? I will have a video tuturial (my first ever) posted on the Birds of a Feather BLOG
on Tuesday, November 15th, so be sure to check in so you can get started on your own file folder mini-album. After all, Christmas is only 42 days away!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas with Lori Whitlock

Those of you who know me know that I often use my Silhouette to cut out different shapes for use on my scrapbook layouts. But, lately, I have realized there are so many other fun crafty projects I can do with my Silhouette! I have been stalking following Lori Whitlock's BLOG for awhile now, and she has so many fantastic project ideas and PERFECT cutting files, that I now have a list of project ideas to keep me happily crafting for...let's just say a l-o-n-g time!

I like to call Halloween the "kick-off" to the holiday season. I have already started purchasing Christmas presents. And so that my very nosy sneaky curious children don't "accidentally" find any of the presents I have hidden, I have already begun wrapping them. Thanks to Lori and my fellow Design Team members, I had an epiphany: I can be crafty and use all my favorite cutting files and scrapbook supplies even when wrapping presents!!! (cue the choir of angels singing "Hallelujah") So...

I really like the cute snowman and snowflake in Lori's CHRISTMAS SET 2, so I decided to use those to make gift tags. I took the tags from Lori's CHRISTMAS COOKIE SET and simply enlarged them so that my snowman shapes would fit on them. I used Echo Park's new Winter Park Collection, which was designed by - you guessed it, none other than uber-talented Lori. I couldn't decide which papers I wanted to use the most, so I decided to make several different types of tags so I wouldn't have to choose. First I made this tag:
I covered this little guy in Glossy Accents, added tiny pom poms cut from ribbon in place of buttons, dressed up his scarf with glitter, and included some little hearts that were included in the cutting files. Here's a close-up of the hearts:
I am all about creating dimension so I decided to use part of a spring from an old ink pen and glued it into submission behind my top heart. Now, it "boings" and bounces a little bit whenever I move the tag. I love it!

My second tag looks like this:
I had so much fun making this tag. I covered the snowman in crackle paint, and I painted the kraft paper tag a shimmery shilver color. I placed a snowflake behind my snowman and covered everything in small "pearls." As you can see, I also cut out a larger snowflake and used it to decorate my simple, kraft-wrapped gift.

I decided to do something a little different with my third tag.
First, I sewed buttons on my snowman shape. Next, I sewed it onto a second snowman shape about 3/4 of the way around, leaving a small opening. Then I filled the pocket with batting and finished sewing it together. I wanted to give it a fabric homemade-doll effect. I could have just as easily made this snowman with actual fabric and interfacing, but I was having so much fun playing with my Echo Park papers that I didn't think to use real fabric until AFTER the fact. That's okay, though, because I have more presents to wrap and more gift tags to make...

Last, but not least, I love to make flowers using Lori's cutting files. So I thought, why not make one to be placed on a present in place of a bow. I LOVED the result!
I simply replicated my shape a couple of times and then changed the sizes so I could layer them all together. I added a brad to hold everything together and coated each piece in Stickles to give it a little bling!

That's all for now, but if the wheels are spinning in your head and you are starting to think just how much you can put your Silhouette or Cricut to work for you this holiday season, be sure to check out these wonderful PROJECTS recently made by Carolyn King and Corri Garza for even more inspiration!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Using My Silhouette to Make a Mini-Album

I am such a fan of mini-albums, and I also love using my Silhouette - so it's only natural that I would find a way to combine the two. And it just so happens that my crafty idol, Lori Whitlock,has created the perfect cutting files (and papers as it turns out)for me to do just that - create a mini-album by using my Silhouette.

Lori has created several mini-album templates, including this bracket album shape. All I had to do was choose my papers; my Silhouette did the rest! (I did add an extra piece of cardstock under my paptterned paper for additional thickness and stability.)

I used a few of my favorite photos from a trip to Ireland last year.
I love using my Silhouette to cut out various shapes for a couple of reasons. First, I choose whatever paper I want so I have exactly the color or pattern I want to use. Second, the shapes and images lay relatively flat, so they provide layering and dimension without too much bulk. Isn't that black doily great? Lori Whitlock designed it, of course!

I love using simple accents like this border and the bicycle cut from my papers.

I thought Lori's Joy Banner was perfect for this picture.

More journaling than I have room for on my page? No worries, I just add a small journaling insert:

A couple more pages:
I LOVE that Fall Leaf Flourish, don't you?

For more ideas using Lori's cutting files, check out her fantastic BLOG!

Until next time, happy crafting!