Monday, August 08, 2011

Monthly Inspiration Binder


Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a scrapbooking tool/embellishment that it completely spins you into overdrive?


I was so overwhelmed with inspiration using Splendid Fiin’s Evidence Notes and Frames that I spent most of the weekend putting together a handmade binder I didn’t know I even needed!

It became so clear to me.  Every month, I complete about four to six projects, either scrapbooking, papercrafting, sewing, or home decor.  Quite often, I find inspiration everywhere—online through tutorials, on my phone in apps such as craftgawker, looking through home decor or scrapbook magazines/sketch sites, or looking at products in a catalog.  It occurred to me that keeping a tangible binder with these ideas might make life easier for me.  I can actually PLAN to do them.

For each one of the above subjects, I’ve made a divider using the note frames as a prompting tool in my binder.  Each divider contains information and a picture of the inspiration I’ve found.  The information includes the tutorial or origin of inspiration, the month I’d like to complete it, why it inspired me in the first place, and what products I would like to use to complete that project, etc.  Each month, I am going to print out the note card and place it in my binder with hopes of completing it.  If I don’t get to it that month, it stays in the binder until I complete it—then onto another inspiration note card prompt.  A lot of times, I find some pretty good inspiration out there and save it to my browser, phone, etc., only to find I’ve forgotten about it.  At least if I print out these prompts and save them some where tangible, I can actually DO them and keep the inspiration alive by planning to do them.  I’ve included plastic pockets in my binder, so that I can store/save sticky notes for those ideas that pop in my head from time to time. 

The binder itself is not cumbersome, small but not too small, and was made using a lot of the tools/mediums that inspire me in the first place. It was binded using principals from this tutorial by Francine Clouden.  I used loose-leaf binder rings so that I could add to my binder instead of using the Zutter O-wires.  Also, I discovered that my Cricut will cut canvas sheets.  I pressed Heat-n-Bond to the back of 1 canvas sheet, trimmed to 12-x-12, that I had previously painted on.  I cut 2 of the bracket cards from this canvas sheet using the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge (fit to page), one for the front of the album and one for the inside of the album, using fabric settings on my Cricut Expression 2.  I then cut the same shape again from chipboard, using chipboard settings and my deep cut housing with blade.  I pressed the canvas die cuts to this chipboard piece, one on each side.  You would not believe how sturdy it feels. It’s going to last.  As you can see from the picture, I can keep a pen in the binding.  I’m hoping to replace the pen with one of those smash book pen/glue sticks by K&Company.  That would be more useful, I think for something like this.  The pen is attached to the binding by sewing and tying  one hair tie, cut in half, to the holes that were placed by the Bind-it-All.  A hair tie with button was also used to make the closure.  Paper bag pockets were included to store sketches, magazine clippings, etc.  All in all, it was a lot of work but didn’t seem like it at the time because I really wanted to see the idea come to fruition.  I’m very satisfied with the outcome and hope it inspires someone to make an inspiration binder of their own.  Here are some pictures of he outside and inside.  TFL!


The doily and colored label (seen on the back) are from the CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  “Craft” is from the Word Collage Cricut cartridge.  The Ohh-LA-La! mat is from the kit of the same name available at by Jodie Lee.  The folder pages you will see in the binder is also available in this kit but will be full 12-x-12 pages. I printed and then cut them using my Sizzix folder die.  The dress form is a rubber stamp, stamped on the paper, then cut and attached.  The heart was a chipboard shape I had lying around, embossed using a Cuttlebug embossing folder, painted with red acrylic paint, and then UTEE was applied in several layers to add dimension.  


Here’s a peek at the inside paper bag pocket where I included Becky Fleck sketches that inspire me.


Above is the scrapbooking inspiration prompt.


Plastic pocket that holds some sticky notes for those inspirational a-ha moments.


Above is the home decor prompt.


Another sketch pocket and plastic pocket to include magazine clippings, etc, that may come and go with my binder.


Above is the papercraft inspiration prompt.


Card sketch inspiration pocket, perhaps I could add some quotes/sentiments that might inspire me as well. 


Above is the sewing inspiration prompt.


I’m sure ideas will pop in my head following the printing of the prompt, so I can jot them down in the back of each prompt.  Also, another pocket for sewing projects I may find in magazines, catalogs, etc.  In this plastic pocket, I might include color inspiration, like paint chips, palettes, etc. 


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