Finished Scrapbook Page

Today is the last day of National Scrapbooking Month and I’ve finally finished my very first scrapbook page ever! I actually finished it on Tuesday but had little time to post. This week Tom interviewed Fmr. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for the TV show for a three segment special airing this weekend. I was very busy with that but I still had time to get him to sign my copy of his book AND to finish my scrapbook page.

Signed Copy of "Known and Unknown"

Signed Copy of “Known and Unknown”

As I said in my previous post I’m addicted to scrapbooking! I can’t wait to do another project. Here are some pictures of the finished product.

My First Scrapbook Page

My First Scrapbook Page

Our Beach Vacation

Our Beach Vacation

Scrapbook Page in Frame

Scrapbook Page in Frame

Scrapbook Page in Frame 2

Scrapbook Page Hanging in My Room

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Scrapbook Fever

Corn

Corn to be grilled!

Happy Memorial Day! In between prepping the food for the BBQ I’m throwing I’ve found time to craft and to blog! I love having a long weekend. After a restful Saturday and Sunday, Monday is always very productive day!

We still have a few days left in National Scrapbooking Month! I’ve been slowly gathering the tools I need to make my framed scrapbook page and now that I’ve started I think that I’m addicted to scrapbooking! Here’s my progress so far:

I used my mad sale shopping/couponing skills to buy all the paper and tools and a wonderful how-to book (which I will talk a out in detail later) at 40% – 50% off. Over the past month, I think I must have saved over $60 on all the supplies I’ve bought for this project and for the scrapbook I plan to make Chris. That right there in itself is a thrill!

Scrapbooking Supplies

Scrapbooking Supplies

I started working on the framed page this weekend. I sent all the pictures that I wanted to Walgreens for printing. TIP: The smallest size they offer is a 4×3. If you want smaller sizes add some photos to a collage template. The more photos you add the smaller the pictures will be. I did 2 and 3 photo collages to get my pics the right size. Be sure to add a medium border around the picture so that you can cut it out without taking away from the picture.

Cutting Out Pics

Cutting Out Pics

I’m still learning the art of using a paper trimmer so it took me a bit of time to cut these out. If you’re already use to a personal paper trimmer or handy with a scissor this will go faster for you! Once the pictures were free of their white borders I made photo mats for them. I bought a handy paper pad with a bunch of fun color and textures that the perfect size for photo matting.

Making a photo mat

Making a photo mat

I’ve laid all my pictures out on the page and now I’m ready to being adhering them. Then I will add all the fun embellishments that I bought!

The Layout

The Layout

I can’t wait to finish it…but not until after the steak’s eaten.

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce for Grill

Enjoy the holiday!

Finally Finished My Afghan

I love finishing a project! My favorite thing about knitting is finishing. I love to take my time binding off and blocking. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I’ve made something beautiful by hand out of a few balls of yarn. Finishing my Harmony Knit Cable Afghan was especially fulfilling because I spent so much time working on it. Since finishing is one of my favorite things I figured I would walk you through the finishing steps in deeper detail.

TASSELS:

After I finished working the main part of the afghan (for more info on the pattern/yarn click here) and the border on the sides I had to make the tassels for the four corners. The tassels really make the afghan look like an elegant and they were very easy to make. All you needed is the yarn, a postcard or bit of cardstock, a pair of scissors and a crochet needle. Here’s a very helpful tutorial.

A Tassel

A Tassel

After the afghan itself was finished I then washed it, dried it, blocked it and used a shaver on any parts that had pilled during the 5 months I spent making it. The yarn I used for this piece was the Caron Simply Soft. It’s fantastic for afghans because it’s so soft and cuddly. The only downside to this yarn is that it is 100% acrylic meaning that it’s completely made out of plastic, not a natural fiber. As with all plastics, this yarn will melt under intense heat. That means you have to take care when washing and blocking it.

WASHING:

Washing Caron Simply Soft is easy. It’s machine washable on a gentle cycle with warm/warm water. You can use your favorite detergent but please, no bleach! You can also machine dry on a delicate setting with low heat. You will probably had to run it through the dryer several time because this yarn takes a while to dry!

BLOCKING:

I’ve heard people say that you cannot block acrylic yarn but you absolutely can. It’s a pain in the behind, especially with a large project, but you can block it. The most common method that I use for blocking is wet blocking–where you wet a piece and stretch it to size and let it dry. Wet blockingdoes not work on acrylic. The acrylic will eventually snap back into it’s original shape if you wet block it. On acrylic you must use steam blocking–where you steam a piece and stretch it to size. All you need is a blocking board or spare bed, an iron with steam setting and T pins and/or blocking wires if you like to use those.

T Pins

T Pins

Place the piece on the bed and pin it down using your T pins. Then apply steam, (I happen to have a cheap industrial size steamer so I use this instead of my iron) stretch to the size and shape the piece needs to be and then re-pin. Do not touch the knit piece with the iron or steamer head or else the yarn will melt.

Blocking with a T pin

Insert T Pin

Blocking Afghan

Steaming the Afghan

Allow the piece to dry fully (remember it take a while) and then take out the pins. It will stay in it’s new shape.

Blocked Afghan

After Blocking

SHAVING OFF PILLED YARN:

Yarn tends to pill after time and because I started this piece just before New Years 2012 the bottom of the afghan, where I had started it, was getting a little pilly. Some people shave their pieces with a disposable razor but I don’t like to do this because yarn damage could occur if it’s done too hard. So, I use a small handheld electronic fabric shaver that I bought at my local Walgreens for $15.

Shaving Fabric

Shaving Fabric

PACKING:

I made this afghan as a gift for my boyfriend’s father and step mother as a thank you for taking me on a trip to the Turks & Caicos.

Tony and Mimi

Tony and Mimi in Turks & Caicos

They live in Washington D.C. so my last step was packing and shipping the afghan. I found an old gift box, some fancy looking ribbon and tissue paper to wrap it in.

Gift for Tony and Mimi

Wrapping the Gift

Gift Box

Gift Box

I sent it in a shipping box bought at Staples with a card via USPS and it was delivered earlier today. I was informed that they love the gift!