Sunday, December 13, 2009

Presents! Presents! Presents!

I've been super busy the last few weeks making holiday presents for my family. I've got some pictures to share with you here.

One of my nephews is a sports nut, especially baseball. Not only does he play, but he coaches and umpires. His family makes an annual trip to Chicago to watch his favorite team, the Cubs, play in Wrigley Field. This is a concertina with plain pages so he can insert any pictures he wants, and I've assumed they will be related to baseball. In the back, I've created a photo holder envelope out of double side printed cardstock. That's the tab you see sticking up in the back.

The next project is for a niece who is a senior in high school this year. It's a coin envelope book with a magnet closure with lots of tags inside. This image is the top half of the book with details. I trimmed down the envelopes so a #5 shipping tag would fit inside nicely, and designed the book around the envelope size. There are three kinds of yarn sticking out of the top from the tags. I do like a lot of yarn frilly stuff.

Here's a view of the bottom details. I used the outside paper to make the simulated tape holding the pieces together. That's why they blend into the cover. I also stamped related bird images along the front of each envelope with coordinating birds stamped on the tags.

Here's a view of the envelopes and tags and their stamps. I used several colors of the Tim Holtz inks to distress the entire project at each phase. This was my first envelope book, and I was working out the engineering as I went. As a result, this project is more of a prototype for future envelope book. I'm really pleased with how the magnet closures work, but next time, I'll hide them under the paper. I've got an idea for digging out some of the cardstock so it might even be flush with the surface. New ideas to try on future books.

Last year, I made this niece a book and filled up the pages with quotes that I thought she would enjoy. This book is blank so she can make her own mark on the world. I only hope that she really will use it! After seeing my handwritten quotes last year, perhaps she won't be afraid to write in this one.

This is the project I'm most excited to share. My oldest nephew got engaged about a week ago, so this is their first Christmas together as soon-to-be-newlyweds. I wanted to give my future niece-in-law a gift to help her mark this stage of her life's journey. It's a lunchbag book designed to collect information about their holiday traditions as a couple. Each two-page spread covered a different aspect of the holidays where she can record details and tuck away mementors, including:
  • holiday decorations
  • special events they attend
  • favorite holiday music (with a place to put in a CD)
  • Christmas eve events
  • Christmas day events
  • favorite recipes (with a deck of recipe cards)
  • special memories
  • holiday magic

I love the juxtaposition of such precious memories into such a routine object that seems to be temporary. I constructed the individual bag pages and only sewed the segment together at the end. I was planning to tie a narrow wire-rimmed red ribbon along the spine, but now that the book is finished, that seems like too much frilly stuff. I selected the papers from my stash and matched them to the recipe cards I found at Hobby Lobby.

{Note: I've added a few more pictures of the Holiday Traditions book. Click on any picture to view a larger version of the photo and see more details.]

The bottom of the lunch bag makes a natural flap on some pages. This spread gives her room to write in their holiday decorating traditions. And the facing page allows her to add a photograph.

This spread allows her to record the names of their favorite holiday music. Because my nephew is a band director, I'm sure music will be a part of their lives. On the right page, I've added an image cut from a Christmas card I received years ago. Behind that image is the lunch bag top, so the can slide in a CD of their favorite holiday songs to really record the memories.

This spread has the bottom of the bag on the left page. She can write on these pages things like their Christmas morning menu, or put in pictures. I've created a recipe holder by punching holes into recipe cards and inserting a book ring to hold them together. I'll slide the recipe cards in between these pages.


African Kelli said...

oh man, that is SO gorgeous!

C K said...

Thanks, Kelli. I can't get the lighting right for my photos, so they look so much muckier than in real life. I've had a blast making these.

Wedge said...

Oh my, I know just how much effort goes into book binding! Yes there are shortcuts no doubt, but yours look wonderful!

C K said...

Thanks, Wedge. I've done some traditional bookbinding, mostly from learning how to do book binding repairs from my days as a librarian. I've used those skills to make these books. It's more fun than anything I've done in the past. Look for more them from me in the year to come.

M said...

Good to see your blog updated. Been wondering how you've been as I checked it here and there and haven't seen updates. Your books are beautiful. Hope you have very happy holidays.