Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to alter an inexpensive plastic photo album into a one of a kind mini you'll be proud to give as a gift


I like decorative mini-albums with pretty papers and plenty of embellishments as much as the next crafter, but sometimes I want to give an album as a gift, quickly made, easily and inexpensively mailed, where larger photos take pride of place. This mini-album I've made as a gift for my cousin is the perfect example.

To do this, I use inexpensive plastic photo albums purchased on sale (I never pay more than €1 for them). To make the type of mini I have here, it's important that the album 'covers' front and back can be removed.


1) Prepare the covers with digital image processing software—I used Craft Artist 2 Professional software and assorted digital papers and images to come up with my cover (you can see where I used the focal image in a 'traditional' mini here). In designing my covers I sized them to the same dimensions as the covers that came with the album. You need four 'covers'—one for the front, one for the inside front, one for the inside back and one for the back. Cut your paper to the same size as the original album covers and print. You could also do this 'traditionally' with pretty paper and a stamped image.

2) Prepare the ribbon closure—take a cutting knife and carefully make a small slit in the center outside seam edge of the covers, front and back, just a little wider than the ribbon you want to use to keep your album closed. Cut two pieces of ribbon to your desired length.

3) Assemble the front cover sandwich—outside and inside— just as if you were going to insert it into the album cover. It's important that you know what you're doing here and that the images are facing in the right direction; it's easy to get confused. Undo the sandwich and adhere an inch (3cms) of  the end of your ribbon in the center of the back of  the front cover on what will be the right edge when done, then glue the front and inside front covers together with the ribbon hanging free between them. Repeat for the back cover, except this time the ribbon end will be glued to what will be the left edge of the back cover. Insert the covers—front and back—ribbons first and pull them through the tiny slits you made in step 2.

4) Digitally prepare a title page—I like to create a title page that says what the album is about and gives the dates. I print this on the back side of a 4 x 6 photo paper (10 x 15cms).

5) Prepare and print your photos and insert in the pockets provided. I like to 'write' on the front of the photo where it was taken and the date. Here's a inside look at a few of the inner pages. In the first photo you can see the inside of the front cover and my title page and in the last the back inside cover.

And there you go! A quick, easy, inexpensive album that looks nothing whatsoever like it's before photo below.

Supply List
Inexpensive plastic photo album, digital image processing software, digital images and papers, paper for printing covers and photos, ribbon.

I'm linking up with: TTCRD challenge week March 24—Anything Goes, All Crafts Challenge Feb/March—Anything But a Card and Not Just Cards challenge #15.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day! and a green beer card

I used Digi-Stamp Boutique's  Celebration set 'Celebrate with beer' sentiment and stamp for this St. Patrick's Day step card. After all, what's more appropriate for St. Patty's day than green beer?!

A friend gave me a set of Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water-soluble pastels and I used them for the first time coloring this image. I love the bright colors and soft water color look.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Ireland and Holiday digital paper packs
Digital Stamp—Digi-Stamp Boutique Celebration set
Color—Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels
Dies—Crafts-too step card, Die-namics rectangle and circle stax
Embellishments—felt shamrocks, buttons, twine

I'm linking up with: Order of the Opus Gluei challenge #204—St. Patrick's Day, My Sheri Crafts challenge #152—Happy St. Patrick's Day, Left of Center challenge #69—Good or Bad Luck, The Stamping Boutique challenge—St. Patrick's Day, Dare to Be Sassy Thursdays #272—Happy St. Patrick's Day and The Pink Elephant challenge #290—Pinch Me (use the color green).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Egg shaped Easter card

I thought an Easter card was the perfect venue for my new Xcut large size egg die set. I used the largest die to make my card base, letting it overlap just a bit on the left side and cutting just a bit from the bottom so it would stand straight.

The digital stamp is a freebie from Sliekje's Digi Stamps

I added the sentiment using Badiane font. 

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Piazza digital paper pack
Digital Stamp—Skiekje's Digi Stamps chick with egg
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Xcut large egg die (XCU 503018)

I'm linking up with: Brown Sugar challenge #137—shaped cards, Lil' Patch of Crafty Friends challenge #6—Anything Goes, Catch the Bug theme challenge—Spring into Spring, Simply Create Too challenge #81—Easter or Bunnies and Moo-Mania theme challenge—Poultry.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Grace Easter card with Meljen's Designs digital stamp

Spring will be here before you know it, which puts me in an Easter frame of mind. I whipped up this little Easter card with the Chocolate Bunny digital stamp from Meljen's Designs, the online shop for the very cute and humorous digital stamps by illustrator Melissa Jenkins.

The good news is until the end of March all stamps are 50% off! The bad news is she is closing the shop. I paper pieced the bunny, colored the little hearts and points around the stamp with colored pencils and used Edwardian Script font for my sentiment.

I used this week's Sketch Saturday #351 for my design.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Grace digital paper pack
Digital Stamp—Meljen's Designs Chocolate Bunny
Dies—Die-namics rectangle stax
Embellishments—buttons, thread
Font—Edwardian Script

I'm linking up with: Lil' Patch of Crafty Friends #5—Anything Goes, A Gem of a Challenge #139—CAS, Brown Sugar Challenge #136—Spring, DRS Challenge #164—Buttons, and Moving Along With the Times—Show Us Your Bunnies.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Saint Patrick's day card made with Whimsie Doodles digital stamp

Saint Patrick's day is coming up and trying not to wait 'til the last minute, I've made this card for my mother with the cute Whimsie Doodles Feeling Lucky digital stamp.

My paper is from Sassy Designs Ireland and Holidays digital paper packs. See my little bow? It's a new die I recently bought from the French company Toga. It cuts like a dream and is so cute. I think I'll be using this one a lot.

We have a new Cultura shop in our area. I say that and yet it's actually about a 45 minute drive away. I love these stores. They're a French chain, and they have everything I like—books, music, crafting and art supplies, art classes. I can easily spend a day in one.  The crafting supplies are mostly French brands, lots of Toga, which I like, although, I do wish they had a bit more American and British products. Still, considering there's been NO store at all close to me with this type of selection, it's an improvement. If you're wondering where to buy craft and scrapbooking supplies in the Geneva, Switzerland area, this is the place to go.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Ireland and Holidays digital paper packs
Digital Stamp—Whimsie Doodles Feeling Lucky
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 colored pencils
Dies—Die-namics rectangle stax, Toga bow
Embellishments—button, twine, pearls
Font—Candy Round BTN

I'm linking up with: Crafty Calendar February challenge—Anything Goes, Open-Minded Crafting Challenges #31—Luck, Doobadoo UK challenge #4—Spring Greens, Crafty Catz challenge #268—Use your dies or punches, Simply Create, Too #80—St. Patrick's Day/Mostly Green and Digitally Sweet Challenges #129—Anything Goes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Apron Abby card with French sentiment

This is another card using Apron Abby from Whimsie Doodles' February release and my last post as the WD February guest designer. It has been such fun creating with the new release this month. I have quite a few Whimsie Doodle stamps in my digital stash; they're some of my favorites, so cute and humorous.

I used Apron Abby on my last altered box project (here) as a brunette, this time I thought she'd make a cute blonde. I paper pieced her headband, dress, apron and shoes for a 3D effect. My sentiment is done with English 157BT font. 'Gros bisous pour toi' is the French equivalent of 'hugs and kisses'. This is another reason I like digital stamping, I can add my sentiment in French or English.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Cosmo Cricket Sea Ivory, Pink-Paislee London Market
Digital Stamp—Whimsie Doodles Apron Abby
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Die-namics photo corners, square stax, circle stax and Spellbinders foliage
Embellishments—wooden lock, key and butterfly, flowers, buttons, pearls, ribbon
Font—English 157BT

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Whimsie Doodles monthly challenge 'For the ladies' and an altered candy box

It's time for another monthly challenge at Whimsie Doodles and as February's guest designer I have the pleasure of participating with the super talented Doodlecious Divas in sharing a project with you.

This month's theme is 'For the ladies'. Instead of a card, I decided to alter an empty candy box into a jewelry box. Our neighbors gave us this box, filled with Belgian chocolate truffles, at Christmas. When the truffles were gone my husband handed me the box and said, 'You want to keep this, don't you?' Does he know me or what? The box is sturdy and not too big, perfect for altering.

I used the Whimsie Doodles February Apron Abby stamp as my focal image. I colored her face and hair, but decided to paper piece her headband, dress, apron and shoes for a 3D effect. I used the same paper on her dress as I did for the box top and flowers—Sassy Designs Cottage digital paper pack—but shrank it down in size relative to the stamp. I used Honey Script font for the sentiment.

I added small Papermania Bare Basics bobbins as feet (to give it a bit more height) and had a blast embellishing. I didn't bother with the bottom part of the box as I liked the dark brown color. I didn't take a picture of the inside, but I finished that up as well. I distress inked the white insides with Vintage Photo and glued a felt square to the bottom. Here's a before photo of the box.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Cottage digital paper pack
Digital Stamp—Whimsie Doodles Apron Abby
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Toga's Feuille sur Tige, Cadenas et Clé and Cage à Oiseaux, Memory Box Cherry Blossom
Embellishments—pearls, ribbon, pom-pom trim, metal tag, metal key, heart charm, paper roses
Fonts—Honey Script

I'm linking up with: All Sorts challenge blog week #298 - Any occasion than birthday, Crafty Calendar February challenge - Anything Goes, Simply Create Too #79 - Anything Goes, CCEE Stampers 1507 - Month of the Pearl, and DL.Art Thankful Thursday challenge #150 - Use the color blue.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

'I'm thonging to be your Valentine' card

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Whether you'd happily paired up or happily single, enjoy the day (if for no other reason than it's a good excuse to eat chocolate). This is another card for my Whimsie Doodles February guest designer gig. The Thonging stamped image and sentiment are part of the February release. The paper is from the Fleur digital paper pack by Sassy Designs.

I've never seen my husband laugh so hard at a card. He thinks this stamp is hilarious; definitely a card a guy can appreciate.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Fleur digital paper pack
Digital Stamps—Whimsie Doodles Thonging digital stamp
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Crafts-too step card die, Die-namics rectangle stax
Embellishments—fleur de lys charms, pom-pom trim

I'm linking up with: Bloggers Challenge - Love is in the air, Chocolate, Coffee and Cards challenge #84 - Love is in the air, Fussy and Fancy challenge #132 - It's all about love, Jo's Scrap Shack Fun- Day Friday challenge #75 - Valentine's Day, and Sister Act Card Challenge #93 - Anything goes.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

'Don't go bacon my heart' Valentine's Day card

I have the good fortune to be Whimsie Doodles' February guest designer and as such I get to play with the new February releases, like this cute little guy—Don't go bacon my heart stamp.

I thought he had a country air about him, definitely not a city pig, so I paired him up with the Country Girl digital paper pack by Sassy designs.

I used the sketch from Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 #43 and kept the colorful theme going with a mix of color and shape buttons.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Country Girl digital paper pack
Digital Stamps—Whimsie Doodles Don't go bacon my heart
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Embellishments—buttons, twine

I'm linking up with: Come and Get It challenges - Love is in the air, Jelly Park Friends February challenge - Love is in the air and Quirky Crafts Challenge #3 - Love is in the air.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Simply Cards & Papercraft issue #133

I've got two cards in the latest issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft issue #133. Check out the animal themed birthday card for kids - my two are there (page 75). One of the two is on the cover, the middle one in the three to the left. In addition to page after page of creative inspiration in this issue, there's a free super cute Clearly Besotted stamp set included!


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