I was hard-pressed to come up with a theme this year. I sort of stumbled upon it as the book began to take shape. I'd been toying with a matchbook idea but quickly realized the pages would never be big enough for the recipes. Then I started playing around with a waterfall layout, but it was when I married the two together that I'd found this year's book. I'd been hanging onto a whole pack of multi-colored bamboo felt for a number of years wondering what I'd do with it. And, since the match book cover needs to bend around the book, it was the perfect thing to use to cover the book. As a result - "It Feels Like Christmas" was born. Get it? Felt, Feels?
Here is the closed book, this one covered in red felt, tied with a velvet ribbon and decorated with chipboard accents cut from Sizzix dies. What can I say, I do love my Sizzix stuff. They never seem to disappoint. I've been a fan for as long as I've been paper crafting and I don't see that changing.
You unwrap the ribbon and open the flaps to reveal the waterfall of pages. Each is numbered, cut from a true type font using the new Cricut Explore Air 2 machine I picked up when Amazon was having their annual deal day. Each book has different end papers and page colors so no two are exactly alike. The one you go home with is luck of the draw as I typically package them in a gift bag where nothing is revealed ahead of time. I used MS Word to print the title in the round, then cut that into a wreath using nesting circle dies and the magnetic platform from, you guessed it, Sizzix! The wreath is decorated with some more punches and labeled with '2017' to mark the year of the book. The tabs were done with a hand punch, and glued in place as you see them.
I hand cut the page pocket so a little bit of the stamped recipe cards would peek out on each page. I left the pages clean and simple so people can make notes about the recipes - what they like, what they might change if they bake them, things like that. While I make these books, my hope is that they become a personal family keep sake. Feel free to personalize them any way you like! Take pictures of the cookies and add them to the pages, get out your markers and comment on them, "Yum!" or "No thank you!", or "Hubby liked these better than I did".
Yes - there is an index at the back of the book. What were you thinking?
Here are the stamped recipe cards which to me, really make it look like Christmas. I stamped 4 different borders with various small stamps and colors of ink. I trimmed them to the size needed and color photo copied my stamping onto 375 recipe pages. Once the edges were done, it was just a matter of getting the recipes to print on the page. It always takes a little finagling to get each one to print. It depends mostly on the difficulty of the recipe and the number of ingredients that have to be listed. Font sizes typically need to be adjusted from recipe to recipe. Oh - and a word to the wise - I am showcasing Rene's recipe here - but remember that her cookies would not set up the way they should. So maybe you should mark this one as - Do Not Use? Sorry Rene! We love you for trying! I think Sarah Jasti made Buckeye Balls with a good deal of success in a previous book. Use that recipe if you need a chocolate and peanut butter fix!
Well, that's the book for 2017. There are 25 of these in existence in all the world, for those of you who get them as a Christmas gift without the cookies - I hope you to will bake from the recipes and add your pictures and comments to each page as the years pass. Love to you all from me, Gene, the cats and the craft cave. On to 2018 we go.....
....yes - I already have a book design in mind for next year. :)