Monday, November 21, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Happy Holidays 2016 Paper Crafting Kits

Today I want to take you into my studio for a behind-the-scenes tour of how I created my Happy Holidays 2016 Paper Crafting Kits up to the point where I drop them off at the post office.
So let's start at the start...
It all began at the drawing board, well, not exactly a board but a sketch pad. It took me about three days to come up with what images and words I want in my kit. This is the phase when I drew and wrote down every idea that came to my mind related to this project. This year, I aimed to create a kit entirely based on my own illustrations and hand-lettering. 
I ended up drawing and hand-lettering over three hundred single images. 
The hardest part for me was to then shortlist the images and words... because they are all like little babies to me! And while I would love to include them all, experience has taught me that too many pieces cause overwhelm and curb creativity and that's not my goal.
My goal is to make holiday crafting easier for you, not harder.
It took me another day to pick eighty of the drawings. 
Next, I re-sketched the eighty pieces in the sizes I wanted, keeping in mind that these pieces will adorn scrapbook layouts, mini books, planners, cards, gift toppers, tags, home decor, etc.
Once I finished drawing, I added ink to the pieces. Once all the inks dried, I went back in and colored each piece and blended the colors with water. When all pieces were dry, I took them to my scanner and edited them to clean up anything I didn't like. Then I saved all the images in my flash drive. 
Now, it was time to go to a professional printer to get my handpainted images printed in the truest colors and sharpness that I could get.If
If you have ever been to a busy professional print shop with a smaller job, you know that you'll have to wait quite a while to see a color sampling of your product and that it may take a few tries before it's a go. After some more waiting and then being given a time for pick-up, I got my prints and happily drove home and started to cut out the pieces with fine embroidery scissors!
It was at this point that it hit me that maybe you would like to see the behind-the-scenes process and started taking photos along the way. So, here's the rest of the story with pictures :)


It took an average of 2 hours 30 minutes to cut out the eighty pieces for each kit. 

Next, I counted and re-counted the pieces and put them in a clear bag for each kit.

When it came to assembling the mini book, I decided to go with plain heavy weight cardstock this year with a frosted plastic cover and a thick chipboard backing.

But I couldn't just trim the papers and leave them be! That's not how I roll and I wouldn't give you anything less than what I do in my own memory journals. So, I took an edge distressor and gently distressed the edges of the papers - 25 in each kit.

Now, I did the distressing to build in a bit of texture.  But when I distress, I also feel the need to add a touch of shine. So, I splattered every piece of paper with gold paint.

After all the paint splatters dried, I organized the papers in the order I would like and punched holes through them. I included binder rings in the kit, so you can reorganize the papers if you like.

Then I took a day to think what else can I add to the kit where you can see the artist's hand at work. Those of you who are like me, buy handmade for we appreciate the little quirks the artist brings to any piece. I decided to draw some of the images on the pages of each kit. At the same time, I didn't want all the kits to be the exact same and so I changed up the designs... all to make sure your kit will be unique to you at least to some extent.

Once I finished assembling all the kits and add-on kits for those who ordered them, I sat down to write my thank you notes in note cards I designed myself. 
This is THE MOST EMOTIONAL part of the process for me to let you know how much I appreciate your choosing my art to be part of your Holiday crafting!

Packaging a kit is something I enjoy a lot. This year I bought rolls of kraft paper to wrap my kits.

Once I wrapped a kit and tied it up, I added jingle bells to them... after all it's a Holiday Crafting Kit, right?

I placed my thank you note in front of the package.

And then carefully placed each kit in a priority mail padded envelope for extra security and timely delivery.
Next, I place my envelopes in my bag and head to the post office. As they get stamped and placed in the postal bins, I say a little prayer for each of them and wish that they are received with the same love that I send them out with :)

And folks... that's the back story!

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