Friday, September 14, 2012

A gift for a friend

Hello!   I just posted a surprise mini release a few minutes ago, and this is a project I made for a friend.  The instructions for putting it together are included in the mini release.  It's not really anything super complicated, but the instructions are intended for those who are familiar with this kind of project, and who already have the neccessary equipment (and who know how to use their equipment) to pull it together.
However the tag design and the pocket design alone, might make it worth to buy, as you can use them on almost anything, not just a large guestbook.

On to my project!   I worked on this on and off for about 4 months, as my time allowed.  My original intention was JUST to make a card with it, LOL.  Most of the time I would sit and stare at what I had done so far, then thinking about what I was going to do with it.
I started out with coloring the sunflower/jug image.  I digitally combined the PNG images from the Sunflower set and the Jug & Bucket set.  My friend likes old farmy looking things and sunflowers.  I put stickles and some flower soft in the centers.

Then I created the Cowboy gear set last month and decided I just HAD to add a pair of boots to the image panel.  My friend likes boots/cowboy stuff/barbed wire too.  SO I colored up those boots and cut them out.   At this point I still thought it was just going to be a card.  A large square card.

I wanted to use the matching digital papers that came with the Sunflower set, so I cut my paper and layered them and sewed them up.
I created my own "barbed wire accent" using some 24 ga craft copper wire and some antiqued copper star brads.  Didn't quite turn out as vintagey as I'd envisioned, but rather a bit more cutsey.... hope she still likes it OK.  She's a Texan, so she does like stars too, so hopefully it will all be OK.

At this point, I realized this card was getting to be pretty big.  6" square.  Maybe I should find a frame for it so it can be a picture?  Couldn't find any that would fit it right.  Sigh, what was I going to do?  It had to be something "useful" and not just hanging there.  I wanted her to "use" it.   That is when I decided to make these long tags with 3 months of the calendar on them... and then I could make a clear pocket for it to sit in and set it next to the 6" "card" panel.  Perfect!   But where was I going to put the extra years tags?  They had to get stored somewhere.  I decided it had to be some sort of spiral board something so that I could have a place to store the extra tags. This is the inside of the back cover.

My last thought process was that I wanted her to be able to USE this thing as often as possible so it wasn't just a wall hanging to walk by unnoticed, and finally I thought of making matching "pages" with lines on it (barbed wire lines using the new Barbed Wire Accents) to be a journal or guestbook... with the calendar on it. FINALLY!  My mind was made up.

I used the THICK boards that I had been saving up from my empty 11x15 watercolor paper pads, for the covers.  I finally found a good use for them!  I am so glad I didn't throw them away.  I cut them to 6-1/2 x 10-1/2 for the covers, and covered them with the wood paper (Remember the wood paper I went to get at Hobby Lobby??? And then came home with a bunch of other paper???  Sigh.).

Here is the final project all completed!
The front of the book.  The calendar tag in the clear pocket on the right.
AND A LAST MINUTE ADDITION to this book (after taking all the other photos) was the hardware at the right end so that it can be tied together shut. I added the little aged copper hangers to the front and back covers, and then used the "rope" to tie them shut.

I added little rope loops secured with the copper wire, for a pencil or pen to slide in.  (My friend likes anything cowboy related, so I knew "rope" added to it would be an acceptable accent!)
I had to go find as many antique accents as I already owned to add to the front.  I found these mini paper clips!!  I don't even remember buying them!  I think this is the first time I used them.
And of course, there are teeny tiny round copper brads ALL OVER the thing.

I designed my inside pages with Word. I made a landscape oriented page, added the barbed wire images, and copied them a bunch of times to make the lines.  Then I digitally colored the boots and horseshoe images from the Cowboy Gear set and put those images alternately and printed a total of 40 pages.  I used my 80 lb Neenah cardstock for this, as I wanted a good quality book for her.

 Just a picture showing the thickness of the bound book.  It's a nice good size!  Like a coffee table piece.  I hope she will get years of enjoyment and perhaps a keepsake.

Thanks for visiting today, and I hope you have been inspired to create!!


Moments by Marla said...

What a lucky friend!!! Your album is amazing - love the sunflower and cowboy theme!!!

Teresa Arsenault said...

Wow. What a splendid gift for your friend. This is all kinds of gorgeous, Laurie, and those sunflowers looks absolutely touchable.
Blessing hugs,

krcmasterpiece said...

Love the album theme & all the extra little things. It really makes a project special!

Pat (mspfd) said...

Wow, Laurie, the details on this are incredible. What a gorgeous project.

Glenda Atkins said...

Gorgeous project Laurie, wow, love it!

Dawn Frost said...

Laurie you are amazing what a gorgeous project! I know your friend will be so touched you took the time to make this for her!

Sunshine HoneyBee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunshine HoneyBee said...

Like the wonderful Western feel to your creation.
"Sunshine HoneyBee"

Glittered Paws said...

What an awesome project - and what a lucky friend who is going to be at the receiving end of this wonderful gift. Great coloring, and all the "little" extras.

Lagene said...

WOWZERS! This is an amazing project!!! Wonderful!!!!

dorothy erdely said...

and i am that BLESSED friend!!!! the pictures here are beautiful, but they don't do the book justice. it's ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS in person!!! i can't stop looking at it!!!! i wrote all about it over on my's the link: