Sunday, May 04, 2014

Something I Made for Bibi

It all started with this video, showing a woman's beautiful double paper bag project.  (You don't need to watch the video to enjoy the rest of the blog post but, if you're curious, I figured I'd link to it anyway.)

Inspired by it, I went online to see other projects using lunch bags and found a link to this blog post.  This project seemed a lot less complicated and more my level than the other oh-so-pretty project.  (I've since learned that the papers she used for the project are out-of-print although they can be found at ridiculously exorbitant prices because now they are harder to find.)

Because the second post made it look a little less complicated, I went ahead and pulled some papers from an outdated calendar I had lying around.  I sent pictures of the various paper combinations to Bibi.  She picked a set that included this page:

This became the defining palette.  All other papers were chosen based on the colors found in the above hearts and stars.  In the original calendar, each week's papers have a particular color scheme so I flipped through the many papers to find anything and everything that looked like it would be a good fit.

I didn't end up using all of the papers above.  I didn't even especially like all of the papers I chose but I wanted to have a variety of choices when I sat down to start cutting and pasting.

I then went into my scrapbook paper stash (remember this post?) and pulled out still more papers that played off the colors of the initial set.  I was desperately trying to find a particular paper from my collection but was unable to find even a single sheet.  Oh well.  

When I sat down and started shuffling the papers, I made an early decision about how to do the back cover.  Then the last two pages sort of fell into place as a result.  The front cover also started to make sense although I changed my mind about the layout a couple of times.  The cardstock I eventually chose for the binding edge was a happy accident. I had cards that were the perfect length and didn't need any trimming at all.  I simply had to fold one card in half and it fit.

This is the front cover, obviously.  I cut the hearts from the one page that I used as the pallet inspiration.  The letters are stick-on ones from the Recollections collections.  The background paper is from a Big Stack set of scrapbook papers I bought ages ago.  Finally, I'm using that paper!

The front cover is actually the top of one of the lunch bags, as you can see, and inside I have put a small book, made out of pink printer paper and with a few rhinestones add to make it extra pretty.  Pink is her favorite color and she can do what she wants with the book.  Write a story.  Draw pictures.  Make lists of her favorite things.  Whatever!  

The first two pages are perfect for adding her own pictures or she can add things she cuts out from magazines. Again, it's all about what she wants to do with the book.  She can fill it with anything.  

Here is where I give her a few things to use in her book.  I cut out pieces of ephemera from that first page and, the ones I didn't use in the book, I saved in a small cellophane packet.  I tucked these into another pocket (the bottom flap from one of the lunch bags).  

Here is how the pages look with the packet removed so Bibi can find something else to tuck in there when she's used up all of the stars, hearts, flowers, sparkly butterflies, and such. 

And that right-hand page is yet another pocket!  Inside of this one, I have another book.

I used cardstock to make a staggered page book.  More places for her to add drawings or glue whatever she wants onto each page.  Heck, she could add things front and back!

Here are the next two pages and you can see the staggered book as well as . . . another pocket!

The book is back in the pocket and pulled out the mini-folder from the pocket.  Inside the folder are some more pieces of pink printer paper (Bibi's favorite color is pink).  Can you see the buckling in the paper on the right?  That happens when you use cheaper paper and, unfortunately, all of the paper from the calendar is lighter weight than scrapbook paper.  Lesson learned.  Use scrapbook paper.

The next two pages are a mix of things.  I cut out parts from the calendar, added some of the hearts from the one page and then I created another pocket.

This is actually a window from a bill envelope.  I used some pastel chalk to color the envelope and created gussets so there would be space to tuck things into it.  As you can see, my finger fits easily.  I don't know what she'll decide to tuck into this pocket but she'll be able to see it through the window.  How cool is that?

I made these with torn tissue paper and I punched a hole in the corner so Bibi can fan out each card.  The backs are blank and the fronts can be used the way art journalists use mixed media pages.  She can write on them, draw on them, stick pictures from magazines or even just slap some stickers on them.

Here is the last two page spread with the last pocket.  I used the same cardstock from previous pages to make one card onto which I glued a picture of a bird.  (Does anyone know what kind of bird it is?  I'd love to know.)

Here are the cards that I have in the pocket.  Of course, Bibi can do what she wants with them.  Why, she could put them into a different pocket, if she prefers, or use them in some completely different manner.

And here is the back cover.  That's the ribbon from the one book I made for her.

And that's that.  I am wrapping it all up in a bow.  I started the book and assembled most of it a couple of weeks ago and all in one day.  The extras--the booklets and such, the sparkly things--I made here and there, as time permitted.

I've never made anything like this before.  This was a first time across the board.  And I had so much fun!  I got the inspiration for doing this here and here.  I want to make another one already!  But I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to do it. I think this will make a wonderful gift for Bibi who will be finishing Kindergarten in a few weeks.  I know she'll love it and my fingers are crossed she'll make use of it!