Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Morning

You know that feeling of being displaced?

My computer is in the shop.
It's been there for a bit.
Hopefully it will be ready soon.

They had to wipe it. Yup, wipe the hard drive. Had some serious virus problems. Anyway, all my pictures and editing software is on my computer.. hence the lack of blogging, and my feelings of being displaced.

Can't deal with it any longer... I'm posting some Christmas Morning pictures.. completely raw, unedited, uncropped, red eye... the works.

Jennica is hanging onto a cup cake decorating set. She got it from Aaron for Christmas. She picked it out herself... She has been waiting to open it for WEEKS, which is something like 100 years in kid time.

Can't remember what DVD the kids were excited about in this picture. What I'd like to point out is the pants Santa brought for Aaron still draped neatly over the couch in the background. Why can't the non-toy presents get a little love?? hmmmm?? HMMMMM?

(Yes, my boys love to wear mom and dad's t-shirts to bed. I can't blame them.. after one grows out of footie pajamas kid PJ's look so uncomfortable.

Yes, Santa brought Jennica some press on nails.

As far as Jennica is concerned, Santa rocks.

Clearly, Jennica rocks too.

And for my scrapbooking friends...

You've got to check this out. My GENIOUS pal Melody Ross is taking creative to a whole new level and has designed chipboard stamping sets that are SOOOO amazing. The finished product looks like hand-tooled leather. I've been able to demo the tools at Mel's house and they are awesome. There is nothing like it on the market. You are going to love them!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mall Santa, Atrocity in lights, Christmas stuff, and the TREE.

Mall Santa

I took Jennica and Aaron out to do some Christmas shopping with me. First stop. The mall.

We have never taken out kids to see Santa... Isn't that sad? The loved it. The line was short, and Santa was fat and happy.

And the kids got elf ears..

After Santa I told them we could go get hot chocolate and a warm treat, and they insisted on ice cream.

THAT'S a lot of lights..

After shopping my kids have been begging to see where I work. Since I work out of a home office, that's a little difficult cause I'm all weirded out that my boss will see me driving around his house on my day off and then I'd weird them out...

Anyway, in the same neighborhood lives a very eccentric and over the top Christmaser. A "Christmaser" is anyone who is known year round and introduced by their Christmas decorating reputation. As a general rule, and at the risk of offending a few people...I'm not that big a fan of Christmasers. I'm more into tasteful moderation.

But the kids LOVED it.
Making Christmas Goodies

One Sunday afternoon we made Christmas goodies for some of our neighbors.

Carmel cranberry almond popcorn... Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies... Cinnamon raisin cookies.


Decorating the House

After the cookies we put up Christmas decorations, with the exception of the Christmas tree. We do not own a plastic Christmas tree. I mean I'm glad they make them for my friends who have severe allergies and such, but I enjoy the real thing. No pine smell in an aerosol can for me.

The Fourth Grade Idaho History "Christmas" Music Concert:

Nuff said.

(Noah was great. He's a basque dancer...)

Cutting the Tree:

Yesterday, despite winter weather advisory warnings of up to 8 inches snow in the mountains we drove up to Idaho City to cut our Christmas tree.

So glad we did. The snowfall was light while we were up there and the snow in the mountains was not at all deep. Just a couple inches.

Unfortunately, the area we decided to stop at had been ground cleared by the forest service. We hikes forever before finding any small trees at all. That was fine, but I was a little antsy knowing all this snow was
expected and wanting to make sure we didn't get snowed in.

We finally found this beauty. It's a little bit tall but has a nice shape and lots of branches... for a non tree farm tree anyway..

We cut it, and then started on the long
trek to try and find where we parked. Not easy since we had hiked so far.. Eventually we found the road, which eventually lead to the truck..

And luckily, Andy didn't kill us all on the drive home. The roads were BAD.

Fight, Fight, BSU..

Finally, My friend Teresa Collins, who has an amazing line of scrapbook products, sent me some of her papers to play around with, and I've been working on this project for my boys room.

I think it turned out okay. JUST okay.

Have you ever had a creative block?

I was having serious creative block. Trying not to be negative so that's all I'll say.

My boys are HUGE Boise State Football fans... and seeing how the BRONCOS freaking rock, I had to make a time stamp to their excellence.

This poster and dresser are covered with newspaper headlines from the 2009 Boise State football season. In 50 years maybe some sports fanatic will think it's worth something and it can pay for my kids college.. Wait a minute.. in 50 years my kids had dang well better be finished with college... Maybe my great
grand kids..

My boys love it. That's all that matters.

Fiesta Bowl is next.

That's it for now!

I'm going to eat dinner, then we're decorating the tree. I wouldn't trade cutting our tree for a "lot" tree, but it does take a little magic to make them beautiful. Wish us luck..


Sunday, November 29, 2009

2009 Christmas Albums - Oh little Town of Bethlehem - The Nativity

The good news and the bad news.

The Good.
I have finally finished and posted pictures of the first of my three 2009 Christmas Albums.

The Bad.
First, I'm a bit frustrated with how this album came out. I've had a lot going on in my personal life that has me emotionally tied up and has really limited my creative abilities. It's also tied up my time like you wouldn't believe.

And so...
I'm not making kits this year. I know, I'm sorry. I WILL be selling the acrylic albums and I'm granting permission for anyone who wants to use my techniques and even use my album as a reference for creating their own permission to do so... on a couple conditions:

I just ask that you:
1. Give credit where credit is due.
2. Don't market my work as your own design and sell them for profit.

I will have the acrylic album ready for purchase within a few days. Email me, if that's not soon enough..

And now, I am proud to present to you my 2009 Christmas Album.

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
The Nativity
Copyright Camille McClelland 2009
The album is much larger than my previous designs at 16.5 inches x 8.5 inches for the acrylic only, or 16.5 inches x 16 inches if you include the star.

The album is comprised of four sheets of custom designed and hand cut acrylic pages. The papers for the most part are the coolest new papers from Melody Ross Designs. Gorgeous saturated colors with glitter and flocking and texture... Pretty much everything you've ever loved about everything Melody has ever created.

Here's my latest tip and secret. I can't stand the look of binder rings holding my albums together. Who says your pages all have to be aligned on the left side with holes and 15 yards of ribbon to hide the binder rings?

I've developed a new technique using strong ribbon as hinges and those super powerful flat magnets to keep pages perfectly in place. It looks awesome , it's completely functional, and no bulky binder rings.

I'll show you how later in the post.

Sorry for the lighting problems....

The building windows are all cut out . One of my favorite bits about using acrylic as a page is the three dimensional versatility.

The words "Glory in Excelsis Deo" I printed onto tissue paper, by taping the tissue paper onto a piece of regular printer paper and running it though my printer. I then used paint medium to decoupage the words onto my star, and added glitter.

View without the black background. I'm planning on stringing my mini Christmas lights behind the album so the light shines through the windows.

With the pages open, freestanding. I prefer to keep the pages closed and use a small easel for display.

That's the album.

Now for technical stuff.

The hinges and magnets.

Glue two to three 2 inch pieces of ribbon between the acrylic and the paper as shown.

I find it's helpful to use a small amount of glue and glue my paper in place before adding the ribbon, trim the paper to the exact size with either sandpaper or a metal file. Then remove the paper, glue the ribbon in place, and then glue the perfectly trimmed and inked paper back into place. saves trying to trim around the ribbon.

Place the page in place where you want it, and glue the ribbons down to the second sheet of acrylic.

Next, design the "wise man" or whatever paper item you choose to use to cover the hinge and cut the item to fit around the first acrylic page as shown.

Slide, half behind, and half in front and glue in place as shown.

In the next picture you can see the back of the first acrylic page, unfinished.

(Do you love my sketches? Yes, that's really how I start each album.)

A couple things to notice:

First, The ribbon hinges. You can see they extend about 3/4 inch or so, and are securely glues in place so they won't slip out.

Second, the thin magnets. Here's how to line them up just right. Stick two magnets together. Put glue on the outside of one magnet and glue it in place on the page, while the second magnet is still stuck to it. Then put glue on the back of the second magnet and close the page, making sure the acrylic pages are lined up right were you want them. Then leave it alone while the glue dries completely. After completely dry, very carefully open the page, separating the magnets. Then glue in place the papers, or photo mats or what not, on the back side of the pages, covering the magnets, and holding them securely in place.

Ta Da!

Repeat the process for each page.

I hope you like it!

I am still planning on making two more albums.

One will be a Stable, and one the Inn...