Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cropped Out!

Oh my, I have survived my first crop. I have learned a lot. Guess I should say I have learned what I am not. Let me show you what I made and then explain that a bit more.

First, I actually got the Mother's day card made for my mom.

I had a lot of fun making this card. First time I ever used the heavy patterned paper for the card. I used the new punch I bought that makes the slots for lacing trim through it. Cut out some of the flowers from scrap and attached them with raised dots. Attached some trim pieces in the corners and the middle, adding some crystal stickles to match the embellished paper. Added a sticker about "Mom" and for a bit of fun I used another new punch I bought that makes a cute little envelope, leaving her a message in it.

This is the page layout I made using a scan of an art project my grandson sent to me when he was in Pre-K.

Actually two years ago. When I took the beginning scrapbook class, the instructor showed us books she had made for her own children. She mentioned that she had scanned their awards, report cards and such and used them on the pages. So, I thought I would try it. My scanner can only scan up to legal size, his art project is a bit larger, but the scrapbook store has an awesome set up and was able to scan it for me and shrink it down a bit and used a border punch on white underneath. Then, I came across a photo of him with Santa taken that same year and added it in the corner. Using my "Stretch Your Imagination" cartridge for the Cricut I cut out the cluster of snowflakes a long the side, a punch made the snowflakes which I used small foam circles to attach to give them some 3-D texture and after I demonstrated to the lady next me at the crop how to heat emboss I used that as well, cutting it out and adding it to the corner with foam glue square. I was going to add some journaling, but at the bottom of his artwork is a little saying that kind of speaks for itself.

For the "take and make" project for the crop, we made these cute little journal books.

It is about the size of a card, 5 x 4 inches or so, using six spirals. I was glad to learn how to use a binder machine and to cover the paper wrapped around so when you open the book it is covered as well. However, was a bit disappointed that in my case, as I received a red/black kit, that the pre-printed pages for the book were repetitive in nature. Design is different, but using the same words so to speak. The alternate kit was pink and black. While I would much prefer the red to the pink, the pink had better pre-printed pages (which were patterned on the other side) one of which was a really cute clock that they punched a scalloped circle out, inking the edges and layered it beneath the image of the clock.

It was a great little lesson to learn as I will be making an altered book to send to my mom. She writes in a journal each evening and I am going to dress up a journal for her a bit.

Okay, I promised to explain about learning what I am not. My first crop was very interesting to say the least. There was scrappers from all levels participating from older ages to one fourteen year old that came with her mom. She was interesting to watch as she was not so much scrapbooking photos as she was just making pages that reflect her own feelings. One thing she did that I found very neat was making pages of clothing designs. A book, rather like a kit, had all these stencils for articles of clothing to trace and cut out, came with printed papers, ribbons, trims, little do dads to add bling and even little wire clothes hangers. I have got to get this for my own daughter, of course I will have to play with it as well, and the young girl was all to happy to show the book to me so I could write down the title, told me exactly where to find it at the craft store and showed me the price. At first I was a bit put off with the price, $25, but when I saw exactly what all came with it, knew it was pretty cheap compared to buying all the components separately. Wonder if my coupon would work on books? I thought about taking my youngest daughter, and they told me it would be fine, but this may sound bad, I wanted some time for just me. Especially being the first time I went. There was even a young man, I would say late teens early twenty's, punk rock with goth and tattoo look going on, breeze in and out picking out supplies and having his mom pay for it. Seems he was scrapping at home. The store runs a tab, like being at a bar (just as intoxicating in some ways) for any supplies you need while there. I did walk around a bit to take a looksey at what everyone was working on. One lady doesn't really so much scrap her photos in layouts as she creates the most beautiful layouts using die cuts and papers with embellishments to create the theme of her pages. The pages she was working on happened to be a recent trip to the orient. Then she adds pages with several photos and only a minimal amount of journaling (one line mostly) describing the photo. I must say though they were just breath taking to look at. One lady just made cards. Another made only kits, one made only Disney pages, one young lady only scrapped photos with no embellishments or anything. The lady that was sitting next to me was working on a chipboard album made from letters that spelled out the work sisters. I find those to be very interesting and am thinking that I may make one that spells my mom's name and add photos of her mother and her, mom and me, mom and the kids, and the wedding photos of the oldest two, graduation of youngest son and ice skating photo of youngest. It would sure be a gift no one else would give her.

I learned I have no set style. I learned there is no wrong style. I learned that even though I am on a bologna budget - compared to the caviar of the majority of those ladies, I took entirely too many supplies and was not very well prepared. Part of that was just the fact that I had a small set of calamities trying to get ready for the crop. I had planned on pulling some old photos off of floppy disk and printing them. I had a few problems with the printer. Still acting weird, as in printing one photo and it shows almost full ink levels, the next photo print will show both black and color almost empty. The ink is brand new. But, I had problems getting the external disk drive to work, my computer has no drive for floppy disk. So, gave up and figured I would just work on what ever I found once I got there. I went on a small shopping trip after dropping daughter off to go with church youth group over to Magic Mountain (so she was happy to miss the crop this time) and bought some papers, pens, plastic boxes and totes to take it all to the crop. I took four boxes of photos, all the paper I have, all the stickers and do dads, every type of glue I have, every punch I own, Christmas stamps, all my ink pads, all my embossing powders, a box of trims and laces, embossing plates, even took my cricut. I had my cutters in the tote, and not a single thing with them as I had no idea what I would be using. Now I have a better understanding. However, I did get some of my plunder organized a bit better. One of the plastic boxes I bought at Walmart is actually for beads or jewelry making, but just as I suspected is perfect for embossing powders. The little clear jars screw together and what I had that was in little baggies fit very well in to those jars and using my WONDERFUL Dymo brand labelmaker (looks like a little typewriter prints on peel and stick label tape which comes in colors, metallic or clear) made labels for each color. I LOVE HEAT EMBOSSING. And after hauling it all back home (forgetting that I would not be able to use the front seat for boxes coming home as I had going to the crop) and after putting it all away have a much better understanding of what to take if I go to another crop.

All in all it was indeed a positive experience. Even though one lady was extremely loud and set in her opinions, one lady had no clue that she was blocking the flow of traffic completely, and over all it was very noisy and very cliquish. I will take some more classes to be sure. I probably will go to shorter crops - they have free ones two days a week. However, I was totally unrealistic in the amount of work I would be able to do. Maybe because this type of crop was a big party of sorts, maybe because I was just still so new to all of this. I do know that if I do go to another crop it will be with better preparation (as in having my photos ready) and with specific pages in mind.

Oh, and I have my list going of some things I need to purchase next, like red and green papers to start on Christmas cards and a couple of more punches that I can tell I need along with one of those systems to hold 12 x 12 papers. The plastic box I just bought (for $3 with a locking lid) is just perfect for the 8 1/2 x 11 papers, will buy one more to hold the 4 x 6 paper packs I have as well. I also have my wish list going, like the tote/cart I saw one lady had. The paper trays popped up out of the top, pushed down to travel. SO COOL.

Most important, I have developed a plan of action as to where to start with my future scrapping adventures after discovering that I really have two different hobbies going. One being the stamping and embossing which will mainly be used for card making the other being scrapbook page lay outs.

The cardmaking is simple, make for the occasion. Then either file it away until needed or create for a specific need and actually send it. As I said, I plan to start on Christmas cards over Memorial Day week end. I know there will several, am going to make a list of the special ones I want to get the handmade cards, so want to go a head and get them finished so I can be ready to send them out on time.

As for scrapbooking, I have determined that I will be making the three most common sizes, 12 x 12, 8 1/2 x 11, and 8 x 8 along with some special ones as well like the chipboard ones. I realized my photos are in total disarray and I don't want to spend the time sorting all of them before actually getting to do some pages. To that end, I am going to first work on printing out the photos from all the floppy disk that we have collected as well as transferring them to CD's. Then I am going to make up layouts with papers and colors that I like and add the photos as I find them. I have fallen in love with a set of paper I found and am not too sure I can bring myself to cut it up, may have to use those pages for titles and dividers. At any rate, when I come across a stack of photos that are of the same occasion, I will make them up. Most of my photos have all the negatives and I can take and get prints made pretty cheap of those instead of cutting up the originals. I think then those originals will just go in to ordinary photo albums. If I come across only one or two photos of the same nature, will do those in the smaller 8 x 8 format, using the 8 1/2 x 11 for albums for each of the kids and the larger 12 x 12 for my personal pages. I am of course going to scan, save, and print the pages of each of the kids books for me to keep for myself as well. At least in my mind it is a realistic, organized plan of action.

Enough rambling on for tonight, I am headed to bed, have to get up and start the work week all over again.

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