Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Starbucks Book Tutorial

This was the project I did while I was at the Bloomin' Inn because I was told there would be plenty of space to haul in my sewing machine. There totally WAS. It was so great. My good friend Char had asked me if I would do a Starbucks book for her after she saw the one I made HERE. Now I certainly am not going to lead you to believe I invented this idea. I love to blog hop and several years ago I saw it on Wilna Furstenberg's blog. I enjoy her style so much and she is delightful to take a class from. She had posted this digital Starbucks book project on her blog but...I was not doing any kind of digital at that time so I just ran with the initial idea and made it my own. Now I love them so much I ask for extra cups every single time I am in Starbucks! Which reminds me...I need to collect up some more before they bring in that hideous new logo. It is so not for me. But I digress.

Start with a cup and a cardboard sleeve. Carefully cut the bottom out of your cup. You can use any size but make sure it is a new cup...I have never had success washing a used cup unless you dig that wrinkled wet paper look.
Flatten the cup and cut up both sides to form the front and back covers. Cut out the Starbucks logo from the cardboard sleeve leaving as much extra around the green circle as you can. Now if you are a very clean and straight scrapbooker this may be stepping out of your box. There is nothing precise about these books. They are very gypsy looking and are not meant to outlive your grandchildren. So toss aside the ruler, get out all your bits and bobs and just go with it!Note*** I accidentally cut really close to the green on this one. I usually leave as much cardboard as I can so I can sew this circle onto the front cover***

I use the front cover as a guide to trace out as many pages as I want. Use good, heavy card stock or chipboard! Remember, not everything needs to accommodate a photo. I love to put in pockets, transparencies, little journal tags and whatever else strikes my fancy. So the pages I do here are only a base. Watch out if you use a trimmer while doing this...the pages are somewhat V shaped. Smaller at the bottom and wider at the top.

Then I start with the front cover and work my way to the back! The covers are always my favourite because they can actually handle quite a bit of abuse. I like to do really heavy sewing on makes me happy. But first I dive into a little ink and glimmer mist just to give it an interesting base.

And then hop on the sewing machine to make it look like this. I love to use the extra cardboard for making tabs. And what project is complete without ric rac? I take the front cover just to this point...there is MUCH more I want to add but I still have to bind it. So stop yourself from adding and move on. Just for now.

The inside of the front cover. I stamped it with a messy background stamp and added the chipboard buttons to dress up the sewn circle. If you don't know what else to go with, a stamped quote is a nice go-to embellishment. It had a good number of pages so I will just highlight a few. I used scrap fabric to create a pocket and tag.
The green cloud is not part of the will hang all on it's own as a smaller page. Don't be afraid to mix it up and add different sizes and shapes! This type of book is wonderful for using up scraps of things you didn't want to throw away but had no idea what you were going to use it for. I have a whole Rubbermaid bin full of stuff that falls into that category!

This photo actually shows 3 separate "pages". There is the base page, the cute little polka dot transparency and the chipboard key which attached to one ring and kind of nicely hung out all on it's own.

Inside the back cover. I have a thing for bar codes.
Back cover. Love that sewing. It adds so much texture.

When I am done all the pages I put them all together and see what my best plan of action is for binding. I generally like to use the metal rings...2, 3 or 4 depending on the size of the book. You could also sew it together (my poor little EuroPro!) or use a Cinch or a Zutter. I happen to have a Zutter but I find for this project I don't like how the coils sit. It's all a matter of taste. So I line up the front cover how I want it and punch the appropriate amount of holes with my Crop-A-Dile. Then I hold the next page against the cover and punch it too. Then the third page against the first page and so on and so on using the previously punched page as a guide for the next page so it all lines up.
When I am all finished lining up, stacking and binding I finish blinging up the front cover and add ribbon to the metal rings. You can use as much ribbon as you want...I just put 3 pieces on the top ring for a little more embellishment.

Funny side note...I happened to use a bunch of chipboard puzzle pieces on the cover and on a few of the inside pages and Char got all excited about it and thanked me for using them when I gave her the finished book. I was a little confused. are welcome? For using puzzle pieces? Then she reminded me that the puzzle piece is the logo for Autism Awareness. Char's youngest is autistic...and I had forgotten about the significance of the puzzle piece and just used it by accident. Wonderful coincidence! It's a God thing. xo

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Bloomin' Inn - A Review

Back in 2009 when I won Camp Croppin' there was a gift certificate included in my prize package. I had never heard of the place before but several of my scrapping pals said they had heard wonderful things about the place. The Bloomin' Inn in Pincher Creek, AB. I didn't even know where that was but I never look a gift horse in the mouth so I planned to go immediately. Which of course turned into later. Which turned into much much later. Which turned into "Oh my word I haven't used that gift certificate yet!!!" It was a fabulous addition to the prize...a weekend for 2 at the amazing scrapbooking retreat centre valued at over $400. I had asked my friend Sheryl to go with me waaaay back in the Spring of 2009 but the weekend we both had free in the Fall was all booked up at the Inn and we couldn't get away in December so 2009 faded into 2010. We attended Camp Croppin' again and we started talking about the weekend again. Finally we booked for late August. Now, I believe in being entirely truthful when I do a review so I have to say I really wasn't expecting much. Yes, they have a fabulous website filled with all kinds of great info and photos but due to some kind of weird circumstances I had a less than courteous experience with the booking process which led me to be less than impressed. But I let it roll off my back and was open to anything at that point so I put my adventure hat on and off we went. Because hey, it was free.

The drive there was looong (8 hours plus a few stops) but it was so pretty. We found this dill field a few hours out of the city and needed a stretch so out came the cameras. It was ridiculously hazy that day but we still got some cool shots.
With the signs and our multiple maps printed off Google it was fairly easy to find and in the early afternoon we pulled into this beautiful farmyard complete with a wraparound covered porch.
Nobody was around so we just wandered inside and I died and went to vintage heaven.

We found our way to the crop room and were told that the annual fair was this weekend and the owners Colleen and Francis were really busy that day. Ah, no matter. We are self we unpacked and claimed a spot to ourselves. I was impressed with the amount of shelving each person had! Things were simple...not extravagant but highly functional. My kind of space. There was even a plug in right at my station for my sewing machine. Heaven.
At this point I still wasn't expecting much in the way of amenities and service. Remember my (multiple) poor phone experiences? They had nothing at all to do with the owners themselves. Let's just say I am happy that I am who I am because I did NOT let that set the tone for the weekend! I am thrilled to report that the Cyrs (and the guests at the Inn that weekend) not only made it a super fun visit, they also made a very lasting impression that I will carry with me always. WOW WOW WOW!!! The Cyrs were so warm and welcoming, coming to the crop area later in the evening after their fair commitments were complete to personally welcome us all and announce that supper was served. The food was a whole other ball game...I'll come back to that.
Our table mates from Calgary Keri and her sister Janis. They shared everything and let me play with their Cricut! These girls were SO FUN. I hope to see them at Camp Croppin' this year for sure!
The whole crop space accommodates quite a large number of people and it was so comfortable.

A highly functional little kitchen area was so handy for making snacks and tea. On the other side was a small bank of computers for journalling and had Internet access.

The view from the mezzanine where the bedrooms are located. Isn't it SO vintagey cool?

Just outside our bedroom door. Each room up there can comfortably sleep 4 people. Antiques everywhere. Swoon.
The eclectic mix of antiques in the main house has your eye wandering from piece to piece the second you walk in the door. I love the mix of dining tables and chairs. The food. Ah, the FOOD. Down home, wonderful, fresh from the farm, GOOD COOKIN'! Like Grandma used to make. Served up by people who you want to sit down and have a chat and a cup of tea with. I can't say enough how welcoming and wonderful this place is. It is something you MUST experience for yourself.

I wish I had these signs for my kitchen!

Back to the main attraction! Across a small foyer from the scrapbook area is a huge area for quilters. There were some ladies from Okotoks there enjoying some stitching time together and were nice enough to humour me with my camera. And my questions. And my begging for fabric scraps.
The cupcake quilt was by far my favourite. It had sparkly thread for the sugar lumps and little pink crystals on the tops of the cupcakes. Every detail was just to die for.

The talent was unreal. These ladies impressed me and inspired me to be nicer to my sewing machine. I think they felt bad for my little EuroPro working it's little heart out on my Starbucks book. LOL
The amount of care and work that goes into these pieces is huge. The photos don't do have to touch the fabric to appreciate the quality.

This was serious business. They had quilting tools and accessories like I had never seen before.
This is a hobby I would definitely get back into. Linda was the ring leader...she owns a glorious quilting store called Rumpled Quilt Skins (click on the name to see the website!). I am dying to visit this store and take a class. Although I am not sure I would be allowed to walk through the door with all the horrible things I have done to my machine since I ditched sewing for scrapbooking!
This weekend was a whole new level of creative inspiration for me. The scenery, the indoor environment, the people...every detail helped to make it a renewal of the spirit. This particular trip didn't cost much because of the gift certificate...but I can say hands down that I would not hesitate to book again with the Cyrs no matter the cost. The Bloomin' Inn is a great place to congregate with your best gal pals...a great place to meet NEW gal pals...snap a few (hundred) photos on a hazy day when the windmills are turning and go out and seek some creative adventure. It's just out there waiting for you!