Tag Archives: memory crafts

Celebrating Love As A Verb With Wedding Greeting Cards

Tom and I will be celebrating our sixth month anniversary of being married in less than a week! We renewed our marriage vows for the first time at mass this past weekend as part of World Marriage Day. Also Valentine’s Day is in two days and I’m planning the home cooked meal that Tom requested for his Valentine gift as I work on my projects this week. Love is definitely in the air!

Renewing our vows is a good reminder that love is a verb and marriage is something we celebrate and practice every day…so I don’t feel too bad that I’m still working on a couple of projects that incorporate greeting cards that we received for our showers and wedding. (Cards are still trickling in, actually, so I’m really not behind!)

The number of cards we received is astonishing. My Mom kept her wedding cards in a scrapbook. I like to scrapbook, and working cards into scrapbooks and journals is something I’ve been doing for awhile. I love to make handmade books and journals of all kinds and I’ll use almost any excuse to make one. I wanted a guestbook to use at our picnic wedding reception so I naturally made my own. I decided to work greeting cards from our showers (we’re spoiled, between the two of us we had three!) into the guestbook pages. At one of our couples showers there was a fun activity where the other shower guests wrote marriage advice on pieces of paper and we read them out loud. I put those paper pieces in the guestbook also. I intended for the unfilled parts of the guestbook to function as a photo album too, so whenever we look at our wedding photos (which I haven’t even gotten printed yet) we will remember greetings and wishes of happiness from our loved ones.

I was able to incorporate nearly every card we received prior to the wedding day into the wedding guestbook/scrapbook which is at the right side of the photo above. I made the covers from scrap mat board which I covered with map patterned paper to fit our nautical theme. The picnic reception was at a lake and Tom and I brought our kayaks. I made nautical themed collages for the front and back covers of the guestbook, protected them with a layer of transparency film, then attached them with decorative metal brads. I used metal binding rings made by 7gypsies to hold the book together at the spine. Before I fastened the collages in place, I scanned them for use as background graphics on our wedding web site. Papers for the collages came from Canvas Corp, their brand 7gypsies and other sources that I’ve collected over the years.

Here are three examples of 8.5 x 11 inch pages from the guestbook. On some pages I covered nearly the whole page with cards, notes and assorted embellishments. Other pages had blank areas for messages and later photo mounting and journaling. I used a lot of nautical themed paper from Canvas Corp, assorted goodies from my extensive paper stash and added in a little traditional wedding related imagery to blend with the greeting cards. My new Mother In Law is very talented, she painted the card with the two kayaks. She also gave us a great watercolor painting with nautical flags spelling out “Love Lives Here”. A most thoughtful and personal gift that we will always treasure!

At the wedding and since the wedding, we have received many times more cards and if I did what my Mom did and mounted them all on scrapbook pages, I would be making several huge books that would take up a lot of space. I very much wanted to keep all the cards. So I started thinking – several sides of these cards are either blank or have minimal content. What if the cards were not mounted into a book, but instead became the book? Then I could use empty space on the cards to write or mount photos or other memorabilia and embellishments. The cards could become a memory book for reminders, experiences, meditations, thoughts and much more.

I had in my stash some clear tag shapes for making handmade books that were about the size of the cards, so I used one of the plastic tags as a template and I started tracing around important sections of the cards to make tag-shaped book pages.

On sides that had something I wanted to cover up such as card manufacturer information on the back, I laminated with glue some paper with lines printed on it to make a good journaling surface. The example below left is paper from Canvas Corp. I bought a bunch of that design because I make a lot of journals. Some card backs like the seashore themed example below right are good for writing on or adding small photos just as they are.

I have not done a lot of reading yet on Love Languages, but I’m aware of what they are enough to know that one of my ways of giving love and feeling like I am loved is gift giving on special occasions. The gifts don’t have to be expensive, they can be handmade or simple. A good gift for me or Tom could be an experience like a Birthday hike. Tom and I also both think acts of service are a way to give love and to feel love, so when giving gifts to Tom I try to work that in there somehow. The image below shows an example of that on the left – Tom is sporty and we both like to participate in fitness activities so I made him a set of two-sided “coupon” cards good for a workout with me. The idea is to put a date on the cards as they are redeemed and put them in little pockets in my initial tag book. On the right below is an example of a tag page that I have treated like a scrapbook or journal page by using graphics from card parts, scrapbooking-type embellishments and patterned translucent vellum paper so that the cards are visible after they go into a pocket.

Realizing I would end up with enough tag shapes to make several books, I noticed a card with a graphic of a piece of toast on it. I decided it would be cute to cut the toast shape out and use it as a template to cut some of the cards into pages for one or two toast shaped books.

I’m going to keep our wedding memories alive for years as I use these little books to document and journal about our marriage. Happy Valentine’s Day and Anniversary Tom! I love you!

 

Mixing Different Paper Crafting Brands Together

Paper crafting supplies include things you use in scrapbooking, rubber stamping, journaling, card making, planners and more. Paper craft companies make coordinated lines of products that are designed to look great together. Recently I made samples for a promotion at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in which I used only products sold in their store. Within that criteria I did a little mixing of brands. I’m continuing to work on the journal prototype because I’m still having major fun with it. I’m developing some templates to help combine the Heidi Swapp journaling products I was demonstrating with making a custom planner. I’m bringing in more product that I already own from other brands. It’s challenging to get the different product lines to harmonize together but it’s satisfying and fun too. I’m getting some results that please me, anyway!

Heidi Swapp journaling pages and stickers.
In the center are some Heidi Swapp journaling pages and stickers. I picked out product from my stash that I thought might blend well. The Heidi Swap product line is pretty easy to blend because it includes both geometric and floral motifs. My layouts can go in either a traditional or modern direction – or I can attempt to blend the two as the Heidi Swapp designers have done. I looked for similarities in colors, shapes and patterns.
Samples of Journaling Page Layouts
Brands I mixed on these pages include Heidi Swapp, Tim Holtz, Project Life, Fiskars and DCWV. On the right side I made a pocket out of kraft card stock and a cut-down Project Life card, embellished with vellum paper, stickers and paper tape.
Journaling Page Layout Samples
Heidi Swapp journaling pages with Tim Holtz paper tape and miscellaneous papers cut with a hexagon punch by Creative Memories. Making some of the hexagons blank gives the design breathing room and also space for small stamps, stickers or writing later. The black binding rings are by 7gypsies.
Journaling Page Layout Samples
Again using Heidi Swapp journaling pages as a base, I found some harmony between a Project Life card and some Tim Holtz paper and paper tape. I want to go on a road trip now so I can write on these pages and add some photos!

A Road Trip Journal for Dad – Part 1

In June of this year I took a trip with my Dad to Toronto and New York City. I knew ahead of time that we would be traveling on Father’s Day, so I made a gift to present to him on the trip – a handmade journal for him to write in each day, which he did. The journal was designed so that after the trip we could add photos and ephemera and perhaps write more about our memories. I’m in the process of getting both of our photos printed so we can start working on it. I expect this will be a long term project and we will enjoy the time together that we spend on it and memories of the great trip we had. Below are photos of some of my favorite parts of the journal, as they looked before any content was added. In the future I’ll be sharing some our favorite layouts as we get them done.

Cover of journal
Here is the front cover of the journal. It’s decorated with a collage that is protected by a piece of acetate. The small word rubber stamps are from Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Inside front cover and first page
Inside front cover and first page. The inside front cover has a pocket for holding ephemera. The large rubber stamp on the right is from 7gypsies.
Set of two interior pages
On the left I used a trimmed Project Life card, part of the collage I made and some decorative paper. The small rubber stamps on the right are from Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Set of two interior pages
On the left I used two different stencils from Crafter’s Workshop and a stamp from 7gypsies.
Set of two interior pages
On the left I used a Project Life card, part of my collage and decorative paper. On the right are stamps from Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Set of two interior pages
On the right I used a stencil from Crafter’s Workshop and some decorative papers.
Set of two interior pages
On the right in addition to decorative papers I used a sticker from Tim Holtz and a Project Life card.

Here are some links to products I used to make this journal:

Months of the Year Unmounted

Year Numbers 2 Unmounted

Evocative Words II

Set of Unmounted Stamps – Journaling and Planner Words

7gypsies Medium Binding Rings Antique Brass

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Long Fasteners

Mini Road Sign 6×6 Stencil

Mini Sketch Grid 6×6 Stencil

Mini Woodgrain 6×6 Stencil

Using My Sketchbook as a Planner

Last night I listened to a really fun and informative podcast by The Scrap Gals on the topic of Memory Planners – using a  planner to help stay organized and also save as a scrapbook-like keepsake with photos, decorative papers and all kinds of other fun things that we associate with scrapbooking. I’ve saved old planners or calendars on occasion because the records in them really bring back vivid memories. Memory planners are a really great idea but I don’t anticipate having the kind of time to exploit the idea to the fullest.

One idea on the podcast that really had me intrigued was the idea of combining an art journal with a planner. This got me thinking. I have kept sketchbooks since 1985 and I’ve saved all of them. They have a lot of thumbnail sketches and notes about future projects in them, and occasionally other things that get in there because it’s the handiest blank paper around – supply lists, to-do lists, hours that I’ve worked for various clients to be transferred to electronic records later, web site notes, class notes, things like that.

A sketchbook could incorporate aspects of a planner. I have rubber stamps in my Carolyn’s Stamp Store collection with months, years, and days of the week – designed for memory crafts, but adaptable for making a planner too. I also have several sets of letter and number rubber stamps and stencils from other companies, some are even vintage. Along with my rubber stamps, I got out a pencil and ruler and started playing around with page layouts.

First page layout experiment - two weeks per page
First page layout experiment – two weeks per page

I used the wall calendar that I keep in my office as a reference and filled in the first two weeks. On this first attempt I tried to include 14 days per 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook page.  Some good things were happening, but I decided that I needed more room for each day. As a result I came up with this second layout:

One week per page with To Do list on the side
One week per page with To Do list on the side

This is the layout I’m going to stick with for awhile.  The month, day and year stamps are from my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The large numbers are from ‘Lil Davis Designs and the pointing hand and ruled lines stamp are from 7gypsies. A page like this is quick to throw together. My stamping got a little sloppy there on the numbers but this is pretty much for my eyes only so it’s not a big deal. My plan is to add a new week as needed wherever the next blank page happens to fall in my sketchbook. I’ll write in things like work schedules and appointments and also make a brief note about what I did that day. I went through my rubber stamp collection and picked out ones I thought suitable for journaling and put them all together in a bin with the inks I used on this page so they’ll be handy when I need them.

I’m looking forward to this new way of getting organized and recording my activities. When this sketchbook is full, I may switch to a 3-ring binder and put 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of drawing paper in it, with the flexibility of adding additional pages wherever I want of any kind of paper or cardstock if I want to expand the memory aspect of the planner/sketchbook combo.