Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January's Free Digital Stamp and Love in the Studio!

Happy Wednesday crafters!  I'm sponsoring a new challenge at Crafters Cafe and want to leave you with this month's free digital stamp.  To join the challenge just click the button below.  Don't forget the leave the DT some lovely comments while you're there :)

Valentine's day is fast approaching!  Don't forget to check out the available love in the studio <3 All of the following digital images can be purchased at






This month's free digi is Flower Pot Frog.
He's available until January 31st.
JANUARY DIGI HAS EXPIRED.

Enjoy your free digi. Feel free to post a link to my blog post so others can grab this image from here.
Do not post a copy of this free image on the Internet / world wide web.  Copyright for this image is retained by Kim Hecker of Oak Pond Creations.  Thank you :)

If you have made a project using and Oak Pond image don't forget to post it to the Oak Pond Creations Facebook Page.  Hugs and happy crafting! -Kim

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sketchbook News: New Release Digis and a Challenge!

Happy Day Crafters!  I hope your Monday is perfect and you're up and raring to go :)  I'm sponsoring a challenge this week over at
This challenge is unique in that, you can add your card to as many challenges as you can.  Just make sure your card fits the theme of each challenge. They even give a list of challenge blogs for you.  Check it out and link up for your chance to win 3 digital stamps from my Etsy studio and of course, don't forget to leave the design team some lovely comments.  They're inspiration cards are just stunning.
I've just added a couple of new digis to the Oak Pond Creations Digital Illustration Studio.
The first one was sketched after one of my beautiful Border Collies, Piper.  She's a high flyin', high energy, crazy gal.  Simply the sweetest and smartest dog I've ever shared my home with.
This is the real Piper taking a rare break.
 
Enjoy the new stamps in the studio and don't forget to check out the challenge this week at Pile it On!
Oak Pond Creations Border Collie
https://www.etsy.com/listing/175527914/digital-stamp-border-collie?ref=listing-shop-header-1
***
Oak Pond Creations Cupids Heart.
When you purchase this stamp you also get another stamp with a blank banner.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/175596268/digital-stamp-cupids-heart?ref=shop_home_feat_1
Have a great week.  Hugs and happy crafting! -Kim

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tutorial: Altered Composition Book


 This year my passion for books has me diving in to the world of book-making.  I like to watch articles and tutorial videos by book designers and fabricators.  I made my first journal in October of 2013.  It was a mess but I've been hooked ever since.
Altered Composition Books are one of the more inexpensive and easier book projects to make. This idea is not my own.  I'll only take credit for my creative spin and decorating on my projects. The basics come from many talented crafters before me. In this post I'll pass on what I've learned from them and show you how I make a tabbed composition book like this:
The main ingredient is TIME.
At every step be patient and let the glue dry.  If you skip this important step and rush the book, it will end up an unsightly, warped mess.
I know firsthand :\
Let's get started!
 
Supply List:
Sewn signature (NOT GLUED) composition book
Glue
2 pieces of 8.5" X 11" scrap or parchment paper for mess
2 pieces of 8.5" X 11" designer paper for covers
Scissors
Bone folder
Ribbon
Score board
Book press or heavy books

Place a piece of scrap or wax paper between the covers and the pages of your book to create an apron.  This prevents glue from sticking to the pages.  Coat the entire cardboard surface of the book cover with glue. (DO NOT put glue on the spine.  We will cover that later.)

***
Apply designer paper to the glued surface of the book.
Butt the paper right up to the edge of the cloth black spine. 
Use a bone folder to smooth away air bubbles.
 
***
 Trim the corners of the paper on an angle.
Use your bone folder to carefully tuck and crease the corners of your paper.
Fold the flaps to the inside and glue.

 

Place parchment paper apron between the glued covers and pages, close the book and press it dry.
*** 

Once the front and back covers are dry, you can add tabs to your pages.  I used a label punch by EK and cut each label in half.  I glued one tab on each side of the page for strength.




  Most of my comps have 3 tabs but this book was a custom project that required 12 tabs.
Tab spacing can be a bit of a challenge.  But once you've done it once or twice it's easy peasy!
To position tabs, lay them out on the book and space evenly, mark location lightly with a pencil then glue to the appropriate pages.
***

I added a size 16 snap closure to my book using a snap tool from my local art store.
I seated the snap receiver on front cover
and the snap on a closure ribbon attached to the back cover
***

To cover the spine, measure the width and height of the black cloth spine.
I cut the paper for the spine 1 inch taller than the height measurement and folded 1/2" on each end to the inside. (See below)  It adds strength and is more aesthetic than raw edged paper.
Slightly bend your spine cover into a u-shape as shown above and dry fit to the spine double checking your measurements. (You want the entire black cloth spine to disappear)
Put glue on the entire inside surface of the spine cover then adhere it to the black cloth spine.
Make sure the spine seats evenly and is straight from front to back/top to bottom.
Let the spine dry completely before continuing.
***

Glue a ribbon to hide the seam where the spine and cover papers meet.  Cut your ribbon 2" longer that the height of the book. Glue the ribbon to the seam then fold each ribbon flap around and glue to the inside of your covers.

***
Next we will conceal your work on the inside of the cover.  Measure and cut the paper so that it will leave 1/4" border on all sides.  Put glue on the entire surface of the paper and adhere to the inside of your covers.  Use a bone folder to smooth out air bubbles.  Place parchment apron between the cover and pages, close the cover and press the book dry.
Check to make sure all edges are sealed with glue.  If you find any unsealed areas, add a bit of glue and seal it.  Once dry, you can add pockets.
Cut designer paper to half the width of the book cover and 1/4" shorter than the height.  Adhere with glue on 3 sides and allow to dry.
***

Add embellishments and decorations as desired.  The combinations are endless.
I hope you enjoy making your own altered composition book.
Hugs and happy crafting!
-Kim




 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sketchbook News: Welcome 2014!

Happy New Year, crafters.  I hope your holidays were the best and your new year is off to a crafty start.  I'm excited about this year.  If you look to the left of the screen you can see a list of fun and inspiring new challenge blogs I'm sponsoring in 2014.  I'm so lucky to be working with these talented design team members and can't wait to see the creations submitted by crafters from all over the planet.  My calendar is full and I'm super excited to get things rolling.  Get your craft on and join in on the fun!
Check out 3 new sketches now the Studio.  I had so much fun sketching out these adorable frosty guys!  First up:
 "Snow Buddies"
https://www.etsy.com/shop/OakPondCreations?ref=si_shop
 
There's nobody like a snow buddy, right?! 
 
Next:
 "Snow Friends"
https://www.etsy.com/shop/OakPondCreations?ref=si_shop
 
Finally:
 "Snow Pals" 
https://www.etsy.com/shop/OakPondCreations?ref=si_shop
Everyone needs friends and I have some super cool, amazing friends that inspired these fun characters.  All three images can be found in the Oak Pond Creations Digital Illustration Studio  "New" section.  I'd love to hear what you think of the new images in the comment section below.  Don't forget about Oak Pond Creations Facebook Page and you can also follow the happenings by signing up for e-mail alerts here at the blog.
Until next time, hugs and happy crafting! -Kim