Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Not-so-Seasonal Seasonal MiniBook

How many of you readers live here on the Gulf Coast vs. The Frozen North? If you do live here, then you know that we don't have winter (and if you don't live here, well, now you know, too), and most of us like it that way. We like snow as a diversion, not a way of life. We like snow as decoration, not as something to be scraped and plowed. We like snowflakes to be in our scrapbooks and on our walls, not in our hair. And since so many scrapbook companies make gorgeous wintery, filled-with-snowflakes products, we have to find our own, unique, Southern way to use them. "How?" you ask? Well, let me tell you.

First of all, you can use them the obvious way: for a wintery layout or card. Say your family goes skiing every year in Utah - that'll be easy to use these papers and embellishments for a snowy project. Or your family gets stuck in the Atlanta airport for a day because of a threat of ice - again, easy. Just use the snowy, wintery themes on a snowy, wintery layout as they were designed to be used.

But say you never get to see snow...or you spend your winters at the beach or on a cruise ship...What do you do then? There's still this pretty new stuff you want to use, but you just can't figure out how to do it. And that is what we are going to work on and discuss today.

ScrapHappy has recently gotten in a large order from WeRMemoryKeepers, including cute, excellent quality albums (both 12x12 and 6x6), and some of their new paper lines. I was asked to make a minibook using wintery papers for a non-wintery project. After many hours of thought, I realized this morning that there's a minibook I have been wanting to do for several years: Our Year in Sports. Our family is active year round. We joke that you can tell what season it is by what sport the Girls are playing, so when it came time to make a minibook for the store, this seemed to be the perfect fit.
The WeRMemoryKeepers Winter Frost line is a lovely collection of pale blues, greens, and greys. A few of the sheets have small snowflakes in the background, but most of the papers have simple patterns, such as stripes or polka dots. I pulled out enough papers to fill each included page protector, then I sliced the other papers into 2x6 inch strips, inked the edges, and glued the strips to the edges of my 6x6 papers - no rhyme or reason - I just grabbed what was on top of the strip pile and glued it to what was on top of the 6x6 pile. .
The next step was to adhere my photos to my prepped pages - 1 photo per page. I typically print my photos 3.5x5, because my printer lets me get 4 of this-sized photos on 1 piece of letter-sized photo paper (I'm cheap, and I want my photo paper to last as long as it can, so I try to maximize the number of pictures I can print at once). When choosing which photos to adhere to which backgrounds, I, again, just chose the top photo and attached it to the top page - no stress, no decision-making, easy. The colors in this line are muted and neutral enough that all the bright colors from my Girls' various uniforms all blend. The Winter Frost line provides a consistent base for the album and helps the project feel cohesive. To create a title page, I used an additional paper from the 6x6 pad, added some Basic Grey chipboard letters and some Perfect Pearls, and called it done. Journalling for the entire album was done on 1 lined page from the collection (TIP: These lined papers that many companies are putting out now are PERFECT for backgrounds and journalling. I buy them in bulk and use them A LOT).
 If I wanted to, I could have stopped there and called my book complete. But I've been in Big Time Inky Mode lately, so I decided to add some messy, inky play to my book. First, I pulled out a stack of my handy-dandy, plain, manila tags. Next, I stamped and embossed some old sports stamps that I have had in my stash for years (seriously, every year I use these same stamps for any and all sports-related layouts I make. You would think I would get tired of them, but I don't). After embossing my sports icons and the name of the seasons, I pulled out my Tim Holtz Distress Stains and 'colored' my tags. I used 3-4 colors/tag, layering them and misting them to get the colors to blend. I finished off the tags by adding some black and white gingham ribbon to the top (TIP: Black and white gingham ribbon goes with EVERYTHING. Buy a whole roll. You won't regret it).
Again, I could have stopped here, but I decided to keep playing- this time with a Hambly transparency that I've been hoarding. I cut it into 4 6x6 squares and used my Crop-o-dile to punch holes to fit the new pages in my book. I stamped a WeRMemoryKeepers journalling stamp on one of my leftover grey papers from the paper pad, cut them out, and adhered them on the front and back of 2 of my transparency squares (TIP: When you work with transparencies, adhere similar-sized and shaped elements to the front and back of the page. This both hides your adhesive and keeps one side from having unattractive, unmatchy spots). I glue-dotted (Is that a word? If not, it should be) some Heidi Swapp Disco Stars to another transparency (again, front and back to avoid ugliness). On the last transparency I also added stars, but these were white chipboard stars that I recolored with spray ink to match the rest of the album. I then adhered more inked stars throughout my album to provide a bit more continuity, added a wood veneer title to the spine of my album, and declared myself done.

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