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...

Long Time Coming..

Yeah, I know. My blogging skills have been sporadic at best. But, I have good reason.

Things have been crazy busy.

In October, I went back to work full time. I haven't worked for someone else since August of 1999. It's been quite an adjustment.

First day of work:

I started working for a particular company in a position with loads of potential and a decent paycheck. Then, 2 days into the job I got a call from a company looking for an office manager. I wasn't putting a lot of stock into the opportunity because I had interviewed for several other office manager positions in Boise, and none of them paid very well.

I returned the call, because to not do so would have been very unprofessional. We discussed what the company was looking for and what the position paid, and it was actually in my pay range, so I agreed to come in for an interview.

The interview went well until the very end when they asked me to take a "personality assessment test."

Ah crap.

Those types of tests make me a bit nervous, and I don't think I do very well on them. Took the test, and they told me they had a few other people they were considering and they would call me in about a week. Great.

The next day, just before noon I got a call, and a job offer. Wow. I guess they want me in spite of the personality test...

Decided to accept the job. Then my new boss tells me that he's been giving that personality assessment test to employees, and potential employees, for years and years, everyone from entry level to business professionals, and I scored higher than almost anyone they have ever tested. WOW. That was so surprising.

So I quit my first new job exactly one week from when I started, and started my second new job, but not before decorating a pumpkin for my team at my first job though...

Yeah we won. Even if Shawna did say whoever designed it was trying a bit hard and kissing A$. Whatever. (I think someone is jealous of my mad modge skills.)

LOVE LOVE LOVE my second new job.

It is so much closer to what I'm use to in owning my own business than my first new job, which was really more of a micromanagement environment.

My boss is awesome. He has very high expectations, but isn't unreasonable. He is willing to share and teach me everything he knows about the industry, and is an excellent mentor. I am learning so much. Every day my job responsibilities are new and exciting. There is nothing monotonous or boring, and I get to actually use my brain and problem solving abilities. That's always a big plus.

Oh, and this is the view from the office at night:

Enough about work...

Jennica and I went out for a girls night, and on the spur we decided to get Jennica's ears pierced. Most of her friends have theirs done, and Jennica is getting to be so responsible I knew she was ready and capable of taking care of them.Jennica was so brave and didn't even complain when the piercing happened.

She was SO excited.

Afterwords we went to dinner and had delicious Wendy's frostys. Yum. I love frostys.

My amazing big girl!

It's been about three weeks since we got her ears pierced, and Jennica has taken excellent care of them. She can't wait till Christmas when she gets to change them out for "fancy Christmas earrings."

I love having a daughter. I think I would drowned in a sea of Halo X-Box, Star Wars games, and smelly boy socks without her.

Speaking of...

On November 10th Noah turned ten years old!

Andy put together a Star Wars birthday party.

It was great, and completely full of testosterone. .. Well, as much testosterone as a room full of 10 year olds can muster.

There were sword/ light saber fights.

Pin the light saber on the Jedi...

Presents and cake and ice cream...

All the boys had fun. Especially Noah.

Next, and maybe most important. (it's toss up)..

I can't forget the NEW MOON Premier.

Majestic made us line up outside... for 2 hours.

It was DANG cold.

My Brave Friend Kristi bared the cold and wind to see it opening night with me.

When I asked Kristi if she wanted to go, I guess I sort of neglected to tell her I was talking about the opening night show.. at 12:10am. She didn't know until after I had bought the tickets.


So glad she came anyway. It was so much fun, and we got to keep all the teenage girls around us in check.

((We fought them for Jacob, and we won.))

Just for the heck of it. I took this picture of myself before church today. I went shopping Saturday with my fav Boise girl, Shawna and got this great sweater. I love it!

Picture quality completely sucks, but I had to show off how freaking awesome the outfit looks with my stacked vintage western boots.

And finally, I've had my Nativity album finished for a while, but since I'm working full time it's always too dark in the morning and when I get home from work to take any decent pictures. Finally got them taken today. Here's a peak. I'll be doing a whole 'nother post about the album so check back in a bit.

I'm still staying busy. I'm working on some special scrapbook design projects for a friends of mine that I'm really excited about. I'll post more about that when it's all said and done.

Love ya!