Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Tag Frenzy!

Now that I think I've finished making Christmas mini albums - (although one should never say never, right?) I've caught the Christmas tag frenzy from folks like Kard Crazy and Vintage Prims.  Here's an example of the ones I'm working on.  I'm trying to duplicate a few, but most of them will be one of a kind because of the added words, and other embellishments such as handmade paper, copper tape, die cuts and fragments.
I'm used the excuse today that I couldn't start the real baking until I the Chex Mix finishes baking.  And the excuse was so I could work on tags - shame on me!  But in addition to the ones I've made for mini albums, I  created a few more even as I was baking the the pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie and other goodies for Thanksgiving - tomorrow - hurray!!!
I used some Tim Holtz die cuts of the tree and deer, as well as his flags edge make die, Tim Holtz letters, musical paper,  and used Ranger Distress inks for most of the backgrounds, along with some other odds and ends from my stash and then tied them off with either pretty ribbon or my handpsun, hand dyed silk and wool yarns.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Deer in the Forest Chritsmas Mini Album inspired by Tim Holtz

I decided to really go all out with the Tim Holtz treatment on my fifth mini album. I used a number of Tim Holtz techniques, embossing folders,  edge die cuts, Ranger Distress inks, Perfect Pearls and thanks to VintagePrims on ETSY, some of the deer and tree die cuts.  I don't own the dies yet, but she does and makes items others can purchase!  I was so thrilled to try a variety if ways to make them my own with embossing powders and pgiment inks. This album turned out to be another blend of contemporary with traditional aspects using some of the K and Company embellishments. 
I think this mini album is a great way to capture those moments and magical in the 12 pages which offers plenty of photo mats, journaling spots, and tags.
Cover includes Tim Hotlz die cuts ofpine trees and a deer, as well as a Tim Holtz metal card holder stating 2011.  There are special accents, Tim Holtz mini fragments of Santa and a snowman, and cool options for photos which include an ornament which opens into a photo mat, a gift which opens to triple photo mats, and a pullout envelope folder which offers five photo mats. In addition to Tim's product line, I used Recollections, Martha Stewart, K and Company and open stock papers form A.C. Moore and Michael's. Embellishments include handmade flowers, handmade papers and tags, faux Swarvski crystals, Prima bling. Word sentiments add another facet to the album. It's always a final step for me and one that;'s lots of fun and sometimes a challenge! This chipboard album measures 5 inches by 8 inches and the pages are bound by two metal rings accented with ribbons and handspun yarns. I think this particular album harkens back to my New England heritage more than any of  the others I've made so far.
This album is up on ETSY for sale. I hope that whoever purchases it or gives it as a gift sees it as a way to start a new tradition or continue an old one with a mini album the family will pass down from generation to generation. 
I only have one more to post for sale and the rest will be gifts for my family but I'll do blog posts on those as well because is one turns out so differently. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Missing the sea and New England

At this time of year, I can't help but to reflect back to New England.  Back to New Hampshire and walks on North Hampton or Rocky Beach with Boar's Head in view. I borrowed this photo from the Queen of Arts blog, a fellow altered arts creator and lover of North Hampton.
While fall in South Carolina lasts longer and is balmier, it's the grey November skies I'm more familiar with as they're punctuated by the stark branches already bereft of leaves.  It's a time of withdrawal, a time to return to the inner landscape of memories, hopes, dreams.  A time to step out of the hustle and bustle, the playful summer days, to turn our thoughts to deeper meanings found in the quite in- between spaces, the duende moments and the themes of our lives.  As a New Englander, I enjoy this aspect of life, the quieting down to allow the deeper thoughts and resonances to rise to the surface and add a powerful and profound coloration to our lives.  As the vibrancy of summer and then the fall colors fades, it allows us to break free from the clutter and noise of the world to those very still places where our true soul leanings lie.
The countryside and coastline of New England on those brusque November days, bittersweet, a tad lonely, slightly melancholy are a type of prerequisite for New Englanders as they prepare for the harsher clime of a northern winter.  But beyond such a sense, within it, is a rich enchantment, a call on less frivolous powers within us, a summons to our resourcefulness and creativity in dealing with whatever may come, a Nor' Easter, weeks of isolation, a solemn but valuable aspect of life many people are afraid of, but which I feel makes me live even more vibrantly, more fully alive on a day to day basis than the more carefree, fun and social aspects of summer.
I welcome this time. This liminal time, a very portal to remind me of what's valuable and too often forgotten when things move at a hectic pace. A step aside reveals how temporary and surface pleasures don't last as long as those rich and vital stores of meaning only revealed when we dig deeper.
Layers of meaning and numinosity are found in the quiet gray places. The fire in a hearth burns more brightly against such a contrast, the pleasure of small things: a cup of hot cocoa, someone hands warming ours, a light in a window... all offer warmth, closeness and connection with the subtle, simple, yet crucial times which enrich our lives. A few brief words spoken on a windy day on the seashore, our breath visible in the cold shimmery gray light, are deepened in meaning, when heard away from the clatter and pace of civilization's demands. 
This is when I love the  ocean best.  In the fall,  in one of those halfway places, those transitional times when a certain kind of subtle magic ripens and adds depth and dimensions to our lives.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Angel Mini Album

Chrismtas Angel Mini AlbumI couldn't think of a  way to save those magical Christmas memories than in this lovely vintage styled Christmas angel mini album. As I like to do, I love to include many photo mats, journaling spots, and tags to save photos and record memories, traditions and family enjoyment of the 2011 holiday season.
Throughout this 14 page album I tired some new special accents including acetate photo holders and pockets.
I used open stock Christmas and regular papers in addition to papers from my stash and I also used some handmade papers, embossed papers, gold accented papers  from the Once Upon a Time collection. The cover angel comes from the new K and Company Christmas embellishments/tags. I made the letters om a piece of copper carstock using Tim Holtz Vintage Market die cut alphabet and made the large flower using his Sizzix flower die.  The other two flowers were made with some of the flower paks I found in the dollar baskets at Michael's.  I just layered, added Sitckles and added a pearl or a faux gem for the centers. I added some Prima blign and went on to the inner pages. 
Tools and techniques were inspired by Tim Holtz, 7 Gypsies, Recollections, Martha Stewart, Perfect Pearls, Ranger Distress Inks and more. Embellishments include handmade flowers, handmade papers and tags, faux Swarvski crystals, Prima bling. Word sentiments add another facet to the album. 
This  album measures 5 inches by 8 inches and includes 16 pages,  bound by two metal rings accented with ribbons and handspun yarns. 
Four of the pages are half size pages. One of them is an envelope page into which the mini tree fold out photo flap is stores and the other is a photo mat I repurposed form some packaging. And then there is the green page above which features and acetate photo holder.
K and company papers form the small paper pak were used, in addition to their tags for this year.
They weren't quite as vintage as some of the other collections and a vintage look which wasn't quite so Victorian as some of the other popular collections this year.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Joy Christmas mini album

The more I make Christmas mini albums , the larger they get and the more techniques I try.  Of course I often refer to Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas series going as far back as 2008.  He outlines every step of the techniques he uses on his tags in his blogs and even has a 30 something page pamphlet you can print out for some of the more recent years.  My second treasure trove of ideas are the You Tube videos of other altered paper arts crafts folks who also give lots of info and come up with some amazing concepts about fold out and accordion pages, waterfall photo spots, journaling spots.  I'm still learning like crazy and may be at the moderate range of trying some of these.  They can get complicated but are so beautiful and offer more space for those treasured memories.
So my newest album, The Joy Christmas mini album offers 14 chipboard pages which feature many photo mats, tags and journaling cards in addition to pockets, fold out photo mats, library card holders, and a present which opens into a photo mat.  There is also mini scrapbook, which adds further record keeping. I used open stock Christmas papers that I found at Michaels and A.C. Moore this time since I was focusing on reds, greens and blues.  In addition I made some of the photo mats from the mini paper pak from K and Company's Christmas paper pak of this year.  They are the perfect size. My chipboard embellishments and some of the papers came from the Once Upon a Time line, items form the dollar baskets at Michaels' from years past, 7 Gypsies journaling tags. The entire book is accented lavishly and embellished with Prima pearls, faux Swavorski crystal, chipboard accents, handmade papers and handmade flowers. This photo album is a 6 1/2 X 5 1/2 inch mini album and is bound by two metal rings accented with ribbons and handspun yarns.And of course, I used my Sizzix Tim Holtz edge dies to make the edges more interesting and then repurposed the cut off pieces.  And to finish off some of the pages, I added color to the edges with Ranger Distress Inks in green, red and black. The gorgeous matte copper cardstock I found at a wholesale paper supply house in Raleigh a couple of years ago for use in my book printing business, Shadow Archer Press. But they may be available this time of year at local office supply stores like Staples and Office Max.
On the cover I used some K and company chipboard elements, copper cardstock numbers cut with my Tim Holtz Sizzix Vintage Market alphabet die (I love making my own letters and numbers), a handmade flower, Prima bling, vintage Christmas postage stamps and large chipboard letters for Joy.  These letters I layered and layered with paint and pigment to get a more vintage look.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yule Christmas Mini Album

For this Yule Christmas Album I tried to combine a offers a unique flair mixing vintage elements and traditional Christmas themes with touches of contemporary styling.
Since my mom was from Britain, Yule was a term we used often around Christmas time so I used the traditional green, red and gold colors, added the tans and brown for that vintage effect and added a mixture of accents which  include chipboard, metallic embellishments, vintage Christmas stamps, faux gem bling,ribbons, and more. I also chose to use papers that were not Crhrstmas but were more historically flavored form both the Baroque and Medieval eras.  One of the paper paks I used was the Once Upon a Time pak which has a medieval theme. a regular vintage one I've had for three or four years, the recent small Christsmas small paperpak for the photo mats and even a beautifully gold embossed page from the Mariposa butterfly pak - all  from K and Company. Throughout the ten pages, there are lots of photo mats, tags, pockets and journaling spots so you can record your family's Christmas for future generations. The cover is accented with a handmade flower accented with sparkles and a metallic ornament I found a few years ago in addition to two foam glitter Christmas trees a couple of foam snowflakes and typewriter key numbers 25.
I'll try and include some photos of the tags too, because they can't be seen once they are stuffed into pockets or folds.  I used a variety of techniques on these too, including some mini artworks using Tim Holtz fragments. 
I had fun playing with my Tim Holtz edge die cuts and both Sizzix and Tim Holtz embossing folders.  And as I love to do, I accent my embossed pages with Ranger Distress inks and Perfect Pearls.  Album measures 8 1./2 by 6 inches and includes ten chipboard pages, bound with three metal rings adorned with ribbons and handpsun yarns.  Although I'm tempted to keep this one - I decided to put it up for sale on ETSY!  Four more books to come -so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas mini albums 2011

It seems I can't stop making mini albums1  so now that Halloween is over, I turned my attention to Christmas.  This will be the first time making Christmas albums but once again, I have a stash of items from making Christmas cards for many years.
The first one I tried was a Christmas Memories album perfect for capturing those magical holiday moments. I decidewd to make one that would be appriate for the entire family.  The five chipboard pages are combined to feature layouts for both young children, older children, adults and even extended family.  Each page has either a photo mate or journaling square or tag and the snowman book on the last to second page is the perfect place to write up memories and gift lists, whatever suits a family.
There are handmade papers and flowers, chipboard and metallic embellishments sprinkled within the album along with faux Swarvski crystal bling, pockets, tags, and photo mats.

I used my Tim Holtz edge die cuts and a number of different K & Co. paper paks and embellishments, as well as vintage stamps.
I hope that these albums will be keepsakes with writings and personal touches, be handed down from generation to generation!
I've made six of these approximately 6 x 5 inches to 6 x8 inch albums so far.  Four of them will end up on Etsy and I've made one each for my granddaughters including the one which will be born within the next two weeks!
Web Analytics