Sunday, December 30, 2012

PDF tutorial news!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone has enjoyed the Holidays and had the opportunity to spend quality time with those you love (and snuck in a little crafty time too!!)

 I've finally done it!! It took me weeks to put together, but I've completed my first PDF tutorial that's now available in my Etsy shop. This is a tutorial on my 8x8 First Noel Mini-Album from a few weeks ago. The details on the tutorial are available in the Etsy listing, but I thought I should mention again here that this tutorial covers the step-by-step process I used in making the front and back covers and 14 pages with photo mats and tags. It DOES NOT cover the binding system that I use. I have almost finished the PDF tutorial on the binding system and I'll be offering that separately in my Etsy shop as it's the basis for all albums and can be used over and over.

 I have spent about 3-4 months on a trial-and-error basis devising a "hidden-hinge" type system that works independently from the covers and spine of the album. For any of you that have attempted to use solid covers and spine with this type of system, you have probably experienced a certain amount of frustration with things not working quite right, papers not staying adhered, failures here and there, etc. At least, I know I did. I was never satisfied with the end result until I worked out the kinks and finally succeeded in producing a solid, durable method that looks and acts like a real book.

 If you're interested,I should have that binding tutorial in my Etsy shop within a day or so. Of course, there are plenty of tutorials out there on YouTube that teach a hidden-hinge system and any of them can be used in conjunction with my mini-album tutorials that use this system. I think mine provides something the others don't as I've tried just about every one of them out there and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I just focused on the strengths and tried to make them even stronger! Who needs or wants weaknesses, right?

 I hope to have a few more mini-album tutorials available in the next month or two. They take quite a bit of time to create, so please be patient with me!

 Hope you have a happy and safe New Year's!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Botanical Noel Christmas Mini Album

I have my second and last Christmas mini this season to share! I had all of these great plans to make 4 or 5 Christmas minis this year, and know how that goes. I used the Recollections "Botanical Noel" collection from Michael's on this one and I think this paper line is one of my all time favorite Christmas collections. It has a great mix of traditional Christmas colors, a little bit of vintage with the music notes and floral theme, and some really cute cardinals that aren't "cutesie". I don't know if this is the first time Recollections has come out with all of the matching embellishments etc., but these were really nicely done and go so well with the paper.

This one is a 6"x8" mini and I'm loving this size! It's not too big, but still allows plenty of space for larger photos. I stitched the pages in this one and I think it worked pretty well with the style of the papers. It's not something I plan on doing too much in future albums since it doesn't "go" with everything (I'm thinking not so much for travel themed), but it's definitely something I can see adding to more vintage style albums.

I've been enjoying my eBay selling experience so far. If nothing else, it helps to keep me motivated to try new things and create more. I have certain listing expectations to meet with the group I've joined, so in order to meet those "deadlines", I've done a blueprint of sorts for several albums in a row and then mixed it up some if I've found I'm getting a little bored with the same thing. It's hard striking a balance between producing minis for inspiration on here and YouTube and still listing them frequently enough on eBay that I don't get the boot! I've been doing a little soul-searching about this over the past few weeks and I've decided to take a step back and just do what I love. I may not create them as quickly, but I won't risk burn-out either. I've poured my heart and soul into each one of these, but in order to continue that, I've got to branch out and make each one a truly unique piece from the next.

So, I'm looking forward to spending some time over the Holidays digging through my stash and finally playing with some collections that I've been saving and saving and saving...

Wowza. With all that said, (this isn't much of an advertisement for my current listing) if you're interested, here's a link to it:

I've had a few requests for PDF tutorials and I'm trying to gauge interest in this. Drop me a line or leave a comment if this is something you'd be interested in. I had planned on moving in this direction for my Etsy shop and had a whole tutorial done up for my First Noel mini, but had no requests on that one. Too funny! I took it as a sign that it wasn't the direction to take right now, or maybe there just wasn't that much interest in that particular album. At any rate, I'd love some feedback on this idea

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and I hope you get lots of crafty time!