Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY Hollowed-Out Books

For Christmas, among other things, I made my mom a hollowed-out book. This is the fourth book I've done. Last year while I was making one my mom was saying how she wanted me to make her one. Fast forward 300+ days and I haven't forgotten!

This is not a hard craft. It's just super time consuming. You can use any book you like, but I always lean towards old hardcovers because I think the look cooler and I think the cover would warp on soft cover books. I listed the supplies you need below. For the water/glue mixture you need about 70% glue and 30% water. I usually eye it but if I see that I put too much water in I dump a little out.
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For the water/glue mixture you need about 70% glue and 30% water. I usually eye it but if I see that I put too much water in I dump a little out.
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1. Select the first page you want to be your first cut out. If you want all the pages to be cut out just keep one page to the side. You'll be needing it for a later step. 
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2. Holding the remaining pages that you will be cutting through paint the edges with the water/glue solution. Make sure all the edges are adequately covered in glue because you want it to seep in so that the pages don't come apart while you are cutting the book.
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3. I used two sticky note packs and placed them between the glued edges and the first few pages. I then placed a heavy object on top while I waited for the glue to dry. It only takes about 15-30 minutes to dry, but I had to go to work, so I let it set for hours.
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4. I then decided how far in I wanted the border to go in. I wouldn't have the edge less than 1/2 inch. For my book I measured a 1/2 in. around all sides.
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5. I then drew a pencil mark around all the edges. It's okay to have this pencil mark because remember you saved the front pages and one will be glued down over it later.
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6. You can then begin cutting your pages. I use the x-acto knife for the first few pages and I also used the ruler to help keep my lines straight, but be careful because my ruler is now all ragged because I would accidentally cut the ruler instead of the pages.

When I get down a few pages I started using the box cutter because it was a lot easier. If I didn't have a time limit I may have kept going with x-acto knife because the edges may have stayed straighter, but that's life. **Cutting can take several days. I have never completed a book in one day.

Keep an eye on the corners because they tend to get built up. You may have to focus on cutting the corners down in between page cutting. This is another reason it takes so long.

The longer you spend on cutting the book the smoother and straighter your cut edges will be. Believe me, my edges are really rough, but they will flatten a bit when you glue it later.
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7. When you have cut the pages as deep as you want them to go take your water/glue mixture and put it around the inside edges. I also put it on the outside again. Before you flatten it take one of the pages you saved earlier and glue it on top of the hole. Let dry for another 15-30 minutes.
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8. When it's dry very carefully cut through the first page with the knife to open it. This way it covers up any dents or cuts you may have made during the rest of the cutting.
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9. You may need to allow additional time for the inside to dry, but once it's done you can go ahead an fill it up!
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Sorry for the terrible quality of the pictures half way through. I usually prefer to use natural light because I think they make better pictures, but because I had to work and was trying to keep my mom from seeing it I had to use what I could because I would have never gotten it done in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

This Christmas was our first Christmas at home. We grew up going to my grandparents' house and the past several years we went to other relatives homes for dinner. I decided that I would cook our Christmas dinner. This was the first major dinner I have ever cooked, and although our stove is old and it took twice as long to cook the turkey it wasn't all a major disaster. And guys, I'm single. 

My grandma came over in the morning, as usual, to eat breakfast with us and watch us open up gifts. I started cooking dinner around 12-1 and it was all done by 5ish. Then we ended the night by watching The Dark Night Rises, which my brother got for Christmas. We did this all with little to no fighting. It was a Christmas miracle.
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I cannot believe Christmas is already over. I feel like it just snuck up on me. I didn't even watch a complete 2 hours of the Christmas Story marathon or a single episode of one of those old 1970s Christmas movies (like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) which I love so much. Hopefully next year I will be working a single teaching job. 

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

If you are interested I used the following recipes: Herb Roasted Turkey Breast, Herbed Corn Bread Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, and the French's Fried Onion green bean casserole recipe.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jasilyn Clause Sends Christmas Packages

I knew for a few months that I was going to send out Christmas packages to my friends. I wanted them to be handmade gifts because that is more me and it's more fun! So, eventually I decided what I was going to do. I started off with:

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I wanted to send something that was original to Cleveland but I didn't know what. Most of  the ideas I could come up with were Great Lakes Brewing Company or the Christmas Story house but I couldn't send those. Then it hit me... Malley's Chocolate! I also made cinnamon apple sauce ornaments which I read about on a blog and used gift bags I had bought a while ago.

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I put the small chocolates in the little bag.

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Then I put all of the chocolate and the ornaments in the big bag.

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I made Christmas cards by cutting out a stencil and spray painting card stock with silver paint.
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I wrote personal messages to my friends on the back, but they are personal so I'm not showing them. :)
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Then I made a cd of some of my favorite Christmas songs. Unfortunately I didn't have N*Sync's Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. But you can listen to it here! :)

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I made each of my friends infinity scarves. You know that scarf I posted about here!

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I folded the scarf so it would fit in the box. I put the cd on top if it so it wouldn't scratch in the mail. I put the bag of chocolate on top and wrapped the gift together with a name tag so it would look more like a Christmas present!

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Then I strategically placed it in the box which was much harder to do than it looks.

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I topped it with  winter colored tissue paper to, again, make it seem more like opening up a Christmas present. I also did it to keep the package from moving around too much while it was being shipped. I was really scared that the ornaments were going to break in the mail because they are really fragile.

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I finally topped it with my homemade card so that would be the first thing my friends would see when they opened it up!

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Finally, I addressed and taped up my Christmas boxes and shipped them out!
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