So often I make things as gifts for others that I can't share on the blog because, well, they would find out before I'm ready. One of "those" gifts last year was for my hubby for our anniversary. We are blessed that both our parents are still with us, but it's been a long, long time since we had good pictures taken of either set. I know better than to ask my mother because she would far rather be behind the camera than in front of it, but I thought I might be successful with his parents, and I was. I lucked out with a great Groupon for photos and sent my in-laws, with the caveat that I get the photos and they had to keep a surprise until our anniversary. Armed with great photos of them together, I tried to set up time to work on the book, but things seemed to conspire against me. A whole day of crafting to myself during a camping trip turned into a hot mess. The time had planned for myself during another crafting trip was interrupted too. Every time I tried to work on it my craft room, dear hubby seemed to wander in and I had to scramble to make sure everything was hidden. But, despite the interruptions and changes to my plans, I still managed to get it finished and it remained a surprise until our anniversary. But I still couldn't share it because my in-laws wanted to use the pictures at Christmas. But now, all the surprises are over and I wanted to share some of my favorites. The album is one that fits inside it's own box. I bought the whole thing (including all the paper and stuff inside) for only $6 at the CKC Convention a couple of years ago. It's been sitting on the shelf waiting for the right project to come along, but the outside is pretty plain. I pulled out all my love, wedding and family stamps for this project and found that my favorite was a Heidi Swapp stamp of the word "love" that I picked up on clearance at Target in Minneapolis, MN several years ago on a work trip. I scanned the stamp for a page that I'll show you later and then decided to see if could cut it out of vinyl. I enlarged the image in SCAL and, sure enough, it cut pretty darn well with the Cricut. This shot is not my absolute favorite, but it's definitely close to it. They just look so happy together. I love the vellum on this one. I punched out the heart strip with my EK Success punch. Then I laid the punched strip over the vellum and traced the edges. I love the way the cut-outs show through the vellum on the final page. This next picture is probably one of the better shots of my father-in-law smiling.
The only thing different on the page was the hearts on the picture. I needed something in that corner to balance the picture and I just thought I would use a little white Staz-On ink, but that just didn't look right when it was done so I colored it in with red ink. It turned out perfect. It's unfortunate that this next picture turned out so dark because I really did love it, but unfortunately there wasn't much I could do to lighten it given the restrictions on the CD that the pictures came on. (After the fact I realized that I should have printed it, scanned it and then tried lightening the scanned version, but I didn't think of that at the time). But what I did love was the effect of the stitching and the chipboard flower. The stitching was a piece of cake to do using my Stampin' Up paper piercer. I had nice straight, perfectly placed holes to run my DMC floss through. The chipboard flower was easy to cut from a cereal box using SCAL. I love getting to recycle packaging in my scrapbooking. This next one is certainly not my favorite picture. But I love the "love" embellishment. I scanned the Heidi Swapp Love stamp, turned it into a SVG and using SCAL and my Cricut, I cut it out just a bit larger for a shadow effect. It's a fun technique.
Last but not least is this page, which is probably my favorite of all of them. First, I just love this picture. I think it's probably my favorite of all of them. But also because I love the background paper. I've read about this technique many times, but I had never tried it myself until this page. It's the technique where you stamp your own background, which I did using the Heidi Swapp Love stamp in Versamark then embossed with a clear embossing powder. It's quite subtle but very beautiful. A few Perfect Pearls in the shape of heart on the mat along with more clear embossing to finish it off.