The Third Day of Christmas was the day I was assigned. I found it interesting that not only did I get the third day of Christmas with this art group, but also with another swap I started on Steepster. I probably should have done something very French Hen-ish with my art group, but, somehow, I just couldn't draw inspiration for that.
Anyway, I tossed around a few different ideas with the announcement of this swap this year ... at first, I thought this would be a great time for me to explore something I've been wanting to get in to for a long time now: candle making. But, the investment was a bit too much at this time, and I also worried that I might need a bit more time than I was counting on to get the hang of the candle making, and I didn't have a lot of time for those creative learning mistakes that were bound to happen.
I had a couple of other ideas, and the truth is, each one required some new technique or skill learning on my part, and I worried that I would end up too short on time before I got the hang of it. So, I decided to go with something that I already knew how to do ... and something that I have been wanting to do for myself for some time now.
Smash Books! I have been completely enthralled by Smash Books for the better part of this year ... since the first time I noticed them in whatever store I happened to discover them. Since that time, I've seen them everywhere: In Target, in Fred Meyer, and now my local Michaels seems to have restructured their floor plan to make room (and quite a bit of space has been dedicated to it!) for Smash Books.
I have been wanting to buy myself a Smash Book, but every time I'd look at the price tag, I'd think "Sheesh! OK, so, it's not a ton of money, but, really, I could make one of these myself! Why should I invest 20 bucks or so on a blank journal that I could easily make at home since I've all the tools and materials I need to do it?" But the truth is, I never DID make myself a journal, I just kept coveting the pre-made ones... that is... until now.
I finally decided to make my own version of a Smash Book for everyone in my group. For the covers, I was originally going to cover some book board with some fancy paper, but, I decided to instead get some contact paper because a) it's self-adhesive; b) it is easy to clean!; c) did I mention it's self-adhesive? Since the adhesion of the fancy paper to the book board would be the biggest time consumer of the production of these books, I figured by using contact paper, it would cut the time I needed to make each book drastically. And it did.
I added envelopes to the front and back covers, so that the recipients of the books can stash ephemera or whatnot in the book easily.
I debated with myself about whether or not I should embellish the cover of each of the books, but, I ultimately decided that since these are going to be journals that each artist can use in whatever way they see fit, I thought it was appropriate that they could embellish or decorate the covers in whatever way they see fit (or not embellish at all, if they choose not to). I figured that way, they could truly make it their own, and that's what I wanted ... as it seems to me that is what a Smash Book is all about. Right?
I do hope that the other artists in my swap group enjoy the Smash Books. They were a lot more work than I bargained for, especially after my Screw Punch broke (going to have to get another one!) but, they really were fun to do.
And I even got a bit more creative with the wrapping this year! I seem to remember lamenting about not putting as much effort in the wrapping last year as some of the other swappers, and I felt bad about it. This year, this is what my wrapping looked like ...
I even made the tag. LOL
Anyway ... I hope that the ladies enjoy their Smash Books! What do you think? Was this a good gift to give in this swap?