Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Making Books

There's making books... and then there's making books about making books! 

I haven't mentioned before about the photo books I ordered.  In the latter part of last year, I had a coupon for a free book through Shutterfly and I decided to make a book for my friend Gaye for Christmas, with pictures of all the cool things she has given me as gifts over the years as well as some of her other art.  Back when we first met, there was no such thing as digital photography for the average person, and neither of us has much of a record of what we exchanged. 

I was determined to stick to the guidelines for the "free" book (number of pages, size, etc.) and only be out the cost of postage.  But, of course, in the long run, just before I hit the "order" button, my inner self said, why don't you order two copies, so you have one for yourself.  So, "free" is relative at this point!  I was pleased with the books when they came, and actually gave it to Gaye well before Christmas because I just could not wait for her to see it. That's her 8x8 book on the right, with a couple of page spreads following.

Last month, I had another book coupon and decided to make a book with pictures of some of the books I've made. I ended up calling it Volume I because it only has books through around 2011.  My book is 8 x 11 and is the one on the left in the top picture.  The cover shows close-up detail of one of my journal pages. Below are a couple of page spreads.

Overall, I found Shutterfly pretty easy to navigate.  There were many options for page layouts, and it is easy to move pictures around to see what you like best.  I know there are other companies that make photobooks, but I have not used them and can't compare.
So basically, Shutterfly gets a fairly good grade.  That is, unless you include the Mystery of the Missing Package.  Just before Christmas, I ordered some cards using photos from a family gathering.  Because, yes, I had a coupon.  One thing about Shutterfly, once you order, you constantly get new discount offers.  I knew that because of Christmas and New Year holidays, my order might be delayed a little.  But, each day when I checked the tracking number, I became more confused.  At one point, the package seemed to be bouncing back and forth between Atlanta and Memphis a lot.  Pretty ironic, since all the people I planned to mail the cards to live just a short drive from Memphis. So close, yet so far...
After 10 days, they consider it a lost order.  I was impressed with how quickly they resubmitted my order and got it to me, along with an upgrade in cardstock that I didn't even ask for. Kudos to a business that makes things right.  But their shipping... hmmm, not sure why that turned into a problem.
Will I use them again?  Probably.  You know, when I have a coupon...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gifting Ideas

I mentioned in the last post that I helped my friend Gaye celebrate her birthday (late as it was).  I thought I'd show one of the gifts I made for her, and some fun tags that are easy to make.

This is a zippered pouch for her politically incorrect smoking sticks
I used olive green fabric to try to match her latest handmade purse/backpack  This really doesn't have a front or back because both sides are fun to look at (if I do say so myself!)

At the last minute, I decided these gifts needed some tags.  These were done fairly quickly, using purchased tags with mostly washi tapes and stamping.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Metal Books

Yesterday was a good day.  The sun was shining, snow was melting.  And I had a fun visit with friend Gaye up the road,  We finally got around to celebrating her birthday.  The celebration was delayed by weather, illness, and all that annoying stuff in life!

I got to see the samples she is working on for her classes at Artiscape in Ohio just a few weeks away.  Her little metal books are just adorable.  She is constantly tinkering with techniques and discovering new ways to do things.

She is also teaching this fun little leather book.

Wish I was going to this art gathering, as they always have good classes.  Info about Artiscape can be found HERE.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Fatigue

I just couldn't help myself.  I know I can post only so many pictures of my snow and ice covered deck before it gets boring. I'm making a montage for myself of what it looks like each day - snow, ice, snow on ice, more snow, some melting, more snow... etc. 

But I admit I am suffering from winter fatigue.  I think we've been spoiled in this area over the past few years with mild winters and little snow. 

Then I read the comment on the last post, left by a local fabric artist.  Dye the snow?  Hmmm... my mind immediately went to stencils and sprays!  It was too cold to spend much time outside (with no coat and houseshoes, juggling camera, stencil, cardboard, and spray).  I tried to stencil in some green leaves next to a dead branch on my deck that has been covered in snow.  I used Dylusions spray ink since it is water soluble (which is why detail quickly becomes lost).  Tried to use the cardboard to prevent overspray, but the wind blew the spray under the cardboard anyway. 

And there you have it.  I know spring is on the way because I see green vines and leaves!  I checked on it this morning, but it is already covered in another layer of snow, so I don't know how well Dylusions holds up long term on the snow.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Icicle Legs

The good news is, the rain came and washed away some of the snow.
The bad news is, the rain left a coating of ice on everything.  Temperatures are going down, down, down, so the ice won't melt anytime soon.

I think Jack Frost is sitting on my roof.  Because I see his skinny little icicle legs hanging down from my gutter!

Lots of people have more ice and colder temperature than I do, so I don't want to whine too much.  Stay warm everyone!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Magic Number

Counting the days.....