Happy New Year! Hard to believe we're already into a brand new year.
Before embarking on the next 12-months of colorful crafts, projects, quilts and occasional recipes, I thought it would be fun to share a quick recap of the year that was.
Perhaps you missed a few projects from this blog last year. Here's a rundown with thumbnails and links that will get you caught up on everything from celebrate CREATIVITY 2009. ♥
Who doesn't love a beautiful apple orchard? A recent family orchard-excursion not only yielded a ton of apples for us but also sparked the inspiration for this fun-filled post for you.
Grab a cup of java or better yet, pour yourself some apple juice and relax for the read.
With 40 colorful photos featuring creative apple ideas, this is my biggest post ever.
When I first started scrapbooking about 10 years ago, I had no idea what a huge hobby and major industry it would become.
In those earlier days "scrapping" was nothing like the rage it eventually became. At that time there were only a handful of stores that offered scrapping products and even fewer magazines that focused exclusively on scrapbooking.
Sadly, this year one of those pioneer scrapbooking magazines has called it quits after more than a decade of publication.
I love scrapbooking and have enjoyed this hobby full force for about ten years now. I can't count the times people have told me they would love to start "scrapping" but just don't know where to start.
Scrapbooking can seem daunting with the overwhelming array of supplies and product on the market these days. However, creating a great scrapbook page can be easy if you start with a simple design and few well-placed details.
Before you jump to conclusions, No-I'm not having a baby. Now, having made that perfectly clear, I think this is the most adorable photograph. Don't you?
No matter how long you've been scrapbooking, I would venture to say you never really catch up on all the photos you'd like to document and that especially goes for baby pictures like this one.
It's great to be a cover girl! Just ask 4-year old Maeve and I think she'll agree. That's Maeve on the cover of the May/June 2008 issue of Memory Makers magazine. That's also my scrapbook layout on the cover.
What a fun thrill for both of us!
Looking for a twist on scrapbooking? How about a tag book? For those times when you may not be in the mood to scrap an entire page, why not consider scrapping a little booklet instead? This tag book is just perfect if you want to create a fun photo keepsake that won't take a lot of time to complete.
As we approach the holidays, you may also want to try this super easy project to add a little something extra to that special gift.
A while back, I made this little tag book as a gift to my twin sister, Paula. It's a delightful project to consider this time of year. When you open up the booklet it's like a little mini scapbook page inside with four individual panels to decorate as you please.
This project took about 90-minutes to complete. That's no time at all and I love the finished look.
Here's what the tag book looks like from the back when opened up. Of course you can always add more embellishments to the back side.
However, in this case I just didn't want to cover up the pretty vintage paper, so I kept my additional elements to a minimum and confined to the first and last quarter panels only.
To make your own tag book, start with one piece of your favorite 12 X 12 patterned paper. This will be the paper that represents the outside of your tag book.
You'll also need a second sheet of 12 X 12 plain paper for the inside of the book. Put both sheets together and cut down to desired size of the tag. I cut mine about 6 inches X 12 inches.
With both pieces together, fold one end over to line up with the opposite end. Next, fold the first half side turning it back toward the initial fold.
Turn over and fold the other side in the same way. This will give you the accordian-style tag book.
Once you have your folds in place, clip both ends at the top right and left corners at an angle to create the tag shape. At this point adhere both pieces of paper together using double sided tape or glue. In this case, I chose to stitch all the way around the booklet for a more finished look.
Hole punch the top center of each quadrant for the ribbon.
Thread assorted ribbon through the holes you just punched and then embellish the tag book to your heart's content.
Since this project is likely to get handled quite a bit, you may want to apply a clear sealant over any rubons you use. This should prevent the rubons from wearing off over time.
The transparent effect below which appears on the front and back of this tag book, was created using a packaging tape image transfer technique that's easy to duplicate.
Read further for the step-by-step instructions for this great application.
First, copy a small photograph onto regular printer paper. It's important to copy your image. Do not print the picture out. Apply a small strip of clear packaging tape over the copied photo. Then, rub the entire taped image using a bone burnisher.
A bone burnisher is a nice tool to have in your stash, but if you don't have one, a popcicle stick or spoon will also do the trick here.
Take your time and make sure you thoroughly rub all areas of the tape to ensure the image will tranfer completely.
After a good burnishing, run the taped image under warm water as in the photo below. Soak both sides of the image thoroughly.
The warm water will loosen the paper and cause it to slide right off the clear packing tape.
Once the paper peels away from the tape you'll be left with the transferred image on the packing tape. Also, because the adhesive from the tape will not wash away, you'll have an instant transparent sticker from a favorite photo. Don't forget to let your new sticker dry (face down) before applying to your project.
Your new personalized sticker will have a wonderful effect on your project if you place it over patterned paper. I have some other great projects using this fun packing tape technique that I'll share later in a different post.
Now, getting back to the tag project, you can also stitch a couple of pieces of ribbon into the seam to use as a tie-back to hold the tag book in place.
Carefully measure both pieces of ribbon first to make sure it will fit all the way around the tag book with room for a bow, before actually sewing it into the seam.
These tag books can be tailored for any occasion too. Here is another example below with a baby theme. Instead of using ribbon, try a few colorful buttons in the center of each quarter panel.
Wouldn't this be great to go along with a baby shower gift? You could decorate the inside of tag book with pictures of the mom-to-be.
I love the soft colors of the lavandar ribbon and matching patterned paper in the tag book below. I used the same packing tape technique on the front of this book too.
On the inside, I used pre-printed stickers to decorate the panels. The stickers were already inscribed with beautiful quotes so it fit nicely with the overall wedding theme.
These tags are also perfect for the holidays. The 12 X 12 patterned paper that was used for the tag book below had red on the top half of the paper and the wonderful ornaments on the bottom half.
I simply cropped most of the red out when cutting the paper down to size to keep the focus on the decorative ornaments.
For this tag book, I attached my ribbon with these little metal brads. If you use brads, you'll want to conceal the prongs on the other side.
To do that, I simply cut little paper squares and angled them in a diamond shape on the inside to hide the metal ends perfectly.
As you can see, this is a really easy and versatile project. These little tag books can be customized to fit any theme or occasion.
You can add pictures and embellishments on the inside or even leave the quadrants blank for your own personal sentiments in your prettiest handwriting. How special would that be?
In the interest of full disclosure, I must add one quick warning here. The folding for these tag books is so fast and fun, you may not be able to stop at making just one.