The first project in this "cluster of creativity" is a staggered, spiral bound chipboard album. I scraplifted the overall concept from the Zutter website. The difference in mine is that I added Bazzill cardstock pages in between the chipboard to pull out the rich colors of K & Company's Wild Saffron paper. When I started this book, I had just received my Zutter and was dying to give it a try so I dug into this project without any sort of sketch or plan. After I cut the chipboard, inked and adhered the paper and bound the book, I found myself having trouble coming up with the overall theme and words to use. I wanted to do something really unique but many of the ideas I had were too many letters for the pages or did not coordinate with the Tuscan feel of the paper. LESSONS LEARNED: Consider theme and purpose before you construct the project. Being excited about a new tool or product does not make basic design principles any less true. Another thing I learned was that by adding the cardstock in between each chipboard page, there was less surface for the letters to adhere to the chipboard pages. Overall, I really like how this album turned out but I haven't done anything with pictures, journaling or embellishments yet.
This next project really had me in a strangle hold. I scraplifted the concept from a product demonstration for the Zutter machine on HSN. The back bone of the album is a 12 x 12 piece of cardstock. The pages are attached in a gate fold but the pages vary in size. The various chipboard pages are 6 x6, 12 x 6, 6 x 12, 6 x 3, 12 x 3 and 12 x 8. I had been wanting to use the rest of my Danny O paper and this edgy and fun design was the perfect place for it. I covered both sides and stamped with Fancy Pant's acrylics in black to dress up the collage tone. I ran into a few problems in the actual assembly with the Zutter and my pages did not end up where they belonged. This mistake really bummed me out because the cover pages I had chosen were now buried towards the end. The covers I ended up with were were not meant to be next to one another and felt dry and uninviting. My hope was that it would come together once I added some texture. To do this, I used my Ranger Paint Dabbers but the end result did not grab me. Instead of looking like brush stokes and smears, the paint looked contrived. I went to bed on Sunday night feeling crummy. I let these obstacles get to me and I started doubting my abilities. Monday morning, I was still feeling licked so I decided I had better do something to make it stop. This motivated me to take the album apart and put it back together the way I wanted it. Suddenly, the project was speaking to me. Yes, this is what I was after! LESSON LEARNED - (again an obvious one) if I don't like where a project is headed, I am allowed to change its course.
The embellishments and title I selected worked just as I envisioned. The photos I had planned on using were perfect. it was coming together better than I had expected!
It is such a great feeling to have a project start to take life. The process however, often involves discomfort - I would like to change that. I want to grow as an artist without doubting myself. Is this even possible?
I am also working on creating my own acrylic album rather than spending $18+ on an 8 x 8 from kits2remember or other products out there. I went to TAP plastics and had them cut the panels for me at $1.11 each. I was pretty excited that it had been so simple until I put the 1/16 acrylic in the Zutter. It was too thick to gracefully cut through the plastic and it cracked when I finally forced it. The same was true for the Crop-o-dile large hole punch. When I used the small hole punch, I had no cracking but then the binder rings wouldn't fit through the hole at the hinge. I finally showed this project to my husband and he said all we needed to do was take a trip to the hardware store and he would be able to solve the problem. LESSON LEARNED: (Hmmmm - I think I've heard this before... )2 heads are better than one.
I have a few other projects I have been tinkering with each of which has taught me something -
- unique envelope designs which I want to use for a mini album - LESSON LEARNED: skip the ornate details until after you have the envelop folded and adhered. No sense spending time cutting and punching if the basic design doesn't work.
- my sister's birth announcements - I still haven't got a design I'm crazy about - LESSON LEARNED - Use magazines and websites to get inspiration rather than spending hours trying to reinvent the wheel.
- twinking H2O's and stamping for collage - LESSON LEARNED - invite the kids to experiment with mediums - it is amazing what you can learn from their uninhibited style.
- Granny's 95th birthday album - LESSON LEARNED - scrap with love and it will all fall into place