Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Wedding Message Book - Part 2

About a week ago, I published a blog about a Wedding Message book I was doing for a couple that are soon to be married. The objective of the book is to provide a space for relatives, friends and loved ones of the betrothed to leave their best wishes on their married life. It will be kept on a convenient table during the reception providing an opportunity for any guest to drop a line, so it had to match the colour scheme of the event. In my last post which you can view here, I shared the cover of the book. This post is all about the inside and how I managed to provide space for 200 messages in a 10 page book. 

This is the first page of the book. The bride had chosen the colours for the wedding as Fuchsia and Apple Green so I used the DCWV Cherry Limeade stack which has 48 delectable sheets all in these fabulous colours. I created a border using the Spellbinders Contemporary Hearts Borderabilities Die and then provided 2 little notepads for guests to leave the their comments. An oval scalloped frame for the couple's photograph would provide some relief from all the text. 

The following page was kept simple. The pattern paper had a self design of ruled sheet with a margin, similar to a school notebook. I designed to leave it as is and just add some pretty little flowers from Itsy Bitsy as an accent. 

The next page was all about drama. The page design was a bold striped background and on this I added four scallop squares using the Itsy Bitsy Scallop Square die. 2 of these concealed a notepad to add comments and the other 2 provided space for photographs. 

For the next page I used another extremely bold sheet from the pack and created a trim using the new Couture Creations Intricutz die. Just love that pretty little effect. For writing the wishes, I made a little envelope that when opened, revealed 2 notepads for documenting sentiments.

On the next page, I decided to do callouts. I provided a square frame at the centre for the couple's photo and surrounded it with callouts, all hand cut, for guests to leave their words of encouragement and support. I thought it would add a somewhat lighthearted feel to the book. 

There are 5 more pages in the book but they all somewhat reflect the layouts already showcased so I thought I would skip taking any more photos. But I would definitely like to share how the book looks when bound with its cover. I used the fantastic Cinch Tool to punch even holes on all the pages through which I placed 4 binder rings, all from Itsy Bitsy. Gotta say, I'm mighty pleased with the end result!

How do you like my Wedding Message book? Would love to hear your views. Leave a comment and let me know. Till then Happy Crafting!

Supplies Used:

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Fabulous We R Memory Keepers Tools at Itsy Bitsy

As you all probably know, Itsy Bitsy is without doubt the definitive destination for a variety of craft supplies but did you know that we have the most unrivalled range of tools from We R Memory Keepers? This leading international brand is constantly coming up with interesting and extremely useful tools to create magic with paper and we at Itsy Bitsy want to make sure all our crafting friends have access to their enviable range. Wondering what we're talking about? Read on and learn how We R can change your life!

This trimmer comes with 8 different blades offering 8 different edges to your project including scoring and perforating. Simply choose your blade, slip it on to the ruler, twist to expose the blade and then cut. When you're done, slip all the blades into the ruler for storage! I used it to create the edge on this cute popcorn card. Fun isn't it! For more details, watch this video: 

Adding a rounded corner to your tags or bookmarks is really a breeze when you've got the Crop a Dile Corner Chomping Tool. There are 6 different types that allow for different kinds of corners and what makes it such a fabulous buy is that it will punch through paper, cardstock, chipboard, leather and other craft materials with ease. Plus each Corner Chomper has 2 cut styles in one tool! I made these adorable bookmarks using the Crop A Dile Corner Chomper and to see it in action, watch this video. 

Now you can easily transform paper with the ingenious Lucky 8 Punch. In as little as 8 punches around the paper, ordinary paper becomes unique and decorative. It combines a corner and boarder punch in one tool to create an outer cut, inner cut, or a combination of both. Still confused as to how it works? Just watch this video demo and it will be as clear as can be. 


We R Memory Keepers Sew Ribbon takes the concept of stitching thread to now threading ribbon! Crafters can now make beautiful designs with their ribbon! We all use ribbon to embellish our projects, and now we can make even more  interesting designs like: weave, flowers, scallop, leaf, shoelace and zig zag. Check out this video to see the tool in action:


The We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool makes adding stitching to your projects so easy. This rotary stitch piercer creates perfectly aligned holes in over 25 designs and patterns (15 interchangeable heads available) with 22 great floss packs in 3 coordinating colors of over 26 yards of floss total. Check out the lovely cross stitch design I did for a Wedding Message Book using the Sew Easy Cross Stitch head. It really makes adding texture to your projects a breeze! Here's a look at the demo video of the Sew Easy Tool. 

So are you drooling or what? I certainly am!! Would love to add Lucky 8 punches to my crafting stash. Which We R Tool is on YOUR wishlist? Leave a comment and tell!

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Princess Diary - Part 2

About two weeks ago I published a post about a mini album I was doing for a friend who recently gave birth to her fourth daughter. I had shown the cover of the album that was aptly titled 'The Princess Diary'. Today I will be sharing the inside pages of the album that I have finally completed. I have followed a fairy tale theme for this project in my ultimate favourite colour combination of black, white and pink!

The picture above is first page of the album. I used a pink envelope as the page base. Then I used a fabulous black and white paper from the DCWV Formal Affair stack as the next layer. Using the spellbinders renaissance heart die I created that fantastic intricate border all around the page on which I added some randomly placed pearls. A silver heat embossed candle stand laser cut and some pretty pink daisies finished off this page.

The following page pretty much mirrors the first with a continuation of the story. I have added s chipboard frame that I once again embossed silver for my friend to add her photograph and a few flowers on the corner for a girly touch.

For the following 2 pages I decided to use the Sew Ribbon lacing tool to create a pretty design on the bottom of the page. The ribbon trims are from the We R Memory Keepers range at Itsy Bitsy, love that shiny bling version! Really makes this colour scheme pop. And how about that gorgeous paper from the DCWV Formal Affair Stack! Isn't it mesmerising!

Next I once again used some chipboard border embellishments which I heat embossed silver to add a pretty flourish for the page. The La Creme chipboard embellishments were a great addition not to mention the lines of pearls that really seem to add glam to the page!

I used a burst of the Itsy Bitsy Tie Dye Gypsy flowers for the next page, I couldn't resist packing the space with them, they were so pretty and vibrant, perfect for my colour scheme. And how pretty is that little dress embellishment! Gotta love the stuff Itsy Bitsy comes up with!

On the next 2 pages, I made space for photos of the four little girls. They are all very close in age - 5, 3, 1.5 and just born so their pictures would look so sweet on these spaces. The Couture Creations scallop rectangle die came in handy for this page as well as the forever handy alphabet tags and the gorgeous Camden Cottage flowers. 

Finally for the last 2 pages of the album, I kept the pages simple with a space for a single memorable photograph. The paper background was so pretty so I didn't have to do much to jazz up the page. As a title, I used some We R Memory Keepers Tags that were not only text appropriate but coincidentally complied with my colour scheme as well! How cool is that!

Finally if you missed the post with the cover of the album, I've added a picture here for you. For more views and closeups, here's the link to the earlier post. The binder rings from Itsy Bitsy kept all the pages together which I punched using my trusted 'Cinch' binding tool. 

How do you like my little Princess Project! Would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and let me know! Till then Happy Crafting!!

Supplies Used:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Photographing your Craft Creations - Part 1

I have been meaning to do this post for a while and this is particularly for the newer crafters who are just getting the hang of creating stuff for challenges. The experienced crafters will be familiar with my suggestions and may have additional tips so I welcome everyone's advice in the comments. In this 2 part series I am going to share with you the best way to present your work for craft challenges. You may have made something really fantastic but unless it is properly presented, it will not look its best and you may end up losing out. As much as we try to just focus on the project, a poorly done photograph will be difficult to choose. So here are my pearls of wisdom.

Tip No. 1 - Always Photograph In Natural Light/ Day Light

I cannot stress this enough. You have to photograph your work in natural light or day light. When you photograph in the evening or night, the glow from your light will affect the colours of your work and it will not look its best. So even if time is running out and you just have a few hours to submit your work, still try to keep enough time to photograph in natural light. Here is the different between a project photographed in daylight and then in the night. You can see that the colours are unadulterated in the daylight shot. 


Tip No. 2 - Choose your background carefully - Preferably white

As you start out crafting, make sure your photograph background is uniform and consistent throughout the photo. I prefer white backgrounds but for white projects, a coloured background may work better. Use white card stock to cover the back and base of your space and then photograph your work. Don't worry if joints appear in the photo, these can all be edited out. And do NOT use bedsheets, they look seriously unappealing. As you get more proficient, you can explore varied backgrounds but at the novice level, stick to a clean, uniform background. In the pictures that follow, you will see how I created the uniform background for the photos. I am not worried about the ugly parts, they can all be edited out.

Here I have used my son's study table and book shelf for the white background. You can see the ugly scratches on the wood but it's not a problem as all these can be edited out.

Here I've used 2 white card stock - 4 sheets placed together to create the background. Again the ugly bits, the joints and so on can all be edited out so no worries.

For this picture I've used the back of pink pearl card stock which is a nice creamy white and I've placed it as smoothly as possible.

Tip No. 3 - Edit Edit Edit!!! Your Photographs

Most photographs have to be edited. The ugly bits have to be removed, the lighting has to be improved, the size has to be adjusted, colour enhanced, borders can be added and the list is endless. Even professional photographers with their high funda cameras edit their work so please go ahead and edit it! Edit it to make it look its best while still maintaining the integrity of the project. It will help you present your work in the best possible way. Now here are the edited versions of the photos I showed above so you get an idea of the importance of editing.

But How to Edit Photographs?

Yes I know that's the obvious question so I have put together a short video of how I edited one of these projects. I don't use photoshops, it's too expensive and complicated. I use a website called It has all the enhancements I need and literally you can be as dumb as a monkey and still create wonders. So watch my video and see how easy it is to create your masterpiece.

What's Next?

Now I know some of you still would like help with your photographs to make them look stellar and help you perform better in your challenges. So in the next post of this series I will be editing 5 project photos for 5 lucky crafters. I will add a video of how I edited each picture so that you can learn more about the editing aspect of photographing your creations. But you need to make sure your project is photographed with a white background in daylight. Send your photos in to by Friday 26th July 2013 and I will choose 5 to showcase here.

Till then, hope you found this useful and I look forward to your comments and feedback. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Wedding Message Book

Wondering what a Wedding Message Book is? Well this is the first for me too! A dear friend's brother is getting married next month and the new bride and groom wanted a book in which their friends and family could write little notes and wishes. They wanted something different and original so my friend asked me if I could put something together. And I thought 'WOW! What a great idea!' I just got started on the project and this blog post which is part of a 2-part series is of the cover of the book. 


The colour scheme for the wedding is apple green and fuchsia so I figured I would use the DCWV Cherry Limeade stack available at Itsy Bitsy for the project. The colours are an exact match which is extremely fortuitous isn't it! At the centre of the page I put in a space for a photo of the betrothed couple using a paper from the same paper pack and I used some chipboard laser cut corner embellishments as a final touch.

The central feature of this layout is the cross stitch border I added on the top and left sides. I recently picked up the Sew Easy tool from Itsy Bitsy along with some Sew Easy floss and I was eager to incorporate both in a project. I think stitching adds a wonderful textured touch to any project and since I've always been a cross stitch embroidery nut, it was the obvious choice. I have created a video of how I used the Sew Easy tool and put together this layout which you can watch here. 

Here's a closeup of the title of the book that I created using my favourite Itsy Bitsy alpha tags. The title reads, 'The Great Big Book of Greetings'. Isn't that fun! The tags are a nice deep pink and at the top of each tag I added a tiny green pearl. Each of the tags have been stuck with foam adhesive dots so that they appear dimensional. I just love that effect!

I used 2 flower packs to jazz up this page. For the green flowers, the Bubble Gum Antique Fusion blooms were my choice and for the pinks, I used . The leaves are from the Itsy Bitsy Gardenia series which I think gave a small shade of relief from the burst of flowers on the two corners. I used the Sew Easy Organza ribbon for the pretty bow on the corner and if you want to see how I made it, be sure to watch the video earlier on in this post. 

The next part of the series will be about the inside of the book and how space will be provided for 200 messages and greetings in just 20 pages. I'm still not clear how I'm going to do it but I am truly relishing the challenge! Be sure to watch this space for updates!

What do you think of my Wedding Message Book project and how did you like my video tute? Would love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know!

Supplies Used

Friday, July 19, 2013

Celebrating 60 Glorious Years!

My grandparents recently celebrated 60 years of marriage. Isn't that an incredible achievement? My mother wanted very much to give them a keepsake to remember this occasion so she asked me to make a photo desk calendar. I was happy to oblige and got to work on the project. It's hard crafting to someone else's taste aesthetic. My mother doesn't like too much of embellishments. She's always prefers 'Clean and Simple' projects so as I was putting this whole calendar together I had to ensure that it was not too grand or lavish. It had to be clean, crisp and extremely memorable.

The picture above is the cover of the calendar. I chose a somewhat muted colour scheme as this gift was to be placed on my grandfather's desk. The papers are all from the DCVW Basics Stack. It's a fabulous pack to pick up for masculine or neutral projects because there is nothing flowery or girly. It's all geometric and solid. The flowers are from a new range at Itsy Bitsy called 'Gentlemen' which contains blooms in greys, blacks and blues. This isn't available online but was at the store and I found it went perfectly with my theme. 


The base card stock is navy blue and each paper has been trimmed using the Rotary Cutter from Itsy Bitsy to get that awesome scallop edge on all four sides. Scallop edges are a great way to add a little relief and fun to a project and it's so easy to do. Be sure to watch this video demo to see the rotary cutter in action. 

To bind the photo desk album together, I used my favourite crafting tool - The Cinch from We R Memory Keepers. It's the most amazing device as it allows you to punch and bind your projects with ease. No running to the spiral binding centre or struggling with makeshift tools at home. This one does it all and it punches easily through card stock, chip board and other tough papers. Watch this space for a demo on the Cinch coming up very soon!

Finally the binding wire was again from the We R range at Itsy Bitsy. They've got so many options in so many colours and sizes, you can definitely find the one that best suits your project.

Each photo on each page was from my mother's old albums. We found photographs from as old as 1950. I scanned them, enhanced them and sized them to fit uniformly on each page. The calendar will last my grandparents till Dec 2014, but there were too many photographs to add and since the format is the same, I thought I'd just add 3. 

My grandfather was overwhelmed with the gift. He called me from Kerala to express his appreciation and gratitude. It actually felt pretty great to make him so happy with something so simple. He has proudly placed it on his desk, a desk that is practically as old as his marriage and has set aside his trusted Manorama calendar in favour of this photo desk one. 

Thanks so much for dropping by, would love to hear from you so leave a comment and let me know what you think of how I commemorated 60 glorious years for my grandparents.

Supplies Used: