Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Floral Mini-Album Pt 17 Tags and Tabs for Pages 5 and 6

Recently I made a new mini-album, about my mum who died in December. I was unable to publish anything about this until now because it is a present for her best friend, who sometimes visits my blog, and I wanted it to be a surprise for her. I wrote a series of blog posts as I did each stage of the project, so I didn’t forget what I did, and they will be published in sequence now the project is finished and has been given to our friend.

If you want to see the finished project, please click here.

I forgot to photograph the original papers for the tags for page 5, or to include the Infusions in this photo, but to begin with, I applied Violet Storms and Violetta infusions to the paper from the paper stack, and then added  Hickory Smoke Distress Ink all over, using a blending tool, to smooth out the texture a bit, and to darken it.

182 Page 5 Inking Tags

I distressed the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink (again, no photo, I’m afraid).

Moving on to the tag for page 6 (the reverse of the tag for page 5), this was another one which didn’t require much treatment because the original paper from the paper stack wasn’t too bad. I merely double-distressed the edges, using Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Inks.

184 Page 6 Disttressing Tags

Here are the pieces, matted onto black cardstock.

185 Pages 5 and 6 Tags Matted

I cut and inked the tabs for these tags as before. I cut them from a scrap from one of my Tim Holtz paper stacks (can’t remember which one, I’m afraid, as the papers have got muddled up). For the side showing on page 5, I used Dusty Concord and Vintage Photo Distress Inks, and for the side showing on page 6, Peacock Feathers Distress Ink, and I distressed all the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink.

186 Pages 5 ad 6 Inking Tabs for Tags

I then proceeded to stick the tabs onto the tags, without thinking what I was doing, and twice I stuck them in the wrong place! I was able to remove them by softening the glue on the double-sided tape with my heat gun, but when I attached them wrongly the second time, I added a bit of Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive to restore the stickiness somewhat, and this did NOT want to soften with the heat gun, and when I pulled them off, they also lifted some of the colour from the printed paper. Grrrr. What a mess! I tried to cover the exposed white card with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink but you can see in the next photo that it still shows like crazy… I was so cross with myself for being so stupid, and all I can do is to try and add some judiciously placed embellishments when the time comes, to cover up this boo-boo!!

187 Page 6 Tags Tabs in Place, Showing Damage

Here at last are the two tags with their tabs in the correct place – one showing the side for page 5, and the other for page 6.

188 Pages 5 and 6 Tabs in Place on Tags

This photo shows the tags in place, the first showing page 5, and the second turned over to show page 6.

189 Pages 5 and 6 Completed Tags in Place

Here are the pages again, this time with the tags pulled out, to show how they co-ordinate with their respective pages.

190 Pages 5 and 6 Tags Pulled Out

Pages 4 and 5 aligned, to show the double-page spread, complete with tags.

191 Pages 5 and 6 Completed Tags in Place

Here are all the pages, from 1-6, stacked up, showing how the tabs line up on the page edges. Not only do they enable the tags to be pulled out, but they also help turn the pages, as well as adding a decorative element.

192 Pages 1-6 Completed Tags in Place

Monday, 20 August 2018

Floral Mini-Album Pt 16 Tags and Tabs for Pages 1-4

Recently I made a new mini-album, about my mum who died in December. I was unable to publish anything about this until now because it is a present for her best friend, who sometimes visits my blog, and I wanted it to be a surprise for her. I wrote a series of blog posts as I did each stage of the project, so I didn’t forget what I did, and they will be published in sequence now the project is finished and has been given to our friend.

If you want to see the finished project, please click here.

I have discovered a very useful tutorial on Youtube for using your envelope punch board to make tabs. I decided to make tabs for the page tags, to make it easier to pull them out, and also to indicate that there is actually a tag inside the page to be pulled out! The tabs also add a decorative element.

168 Pages 1 and 2 Cutting Tabs for Tags

I cut the tabs for the page 1 and 2 tag rom the red paper from the paper stack, and punched them with the envelope punch board, and rounded the bottom corners with my corner rounder punch. I inked half of each tab piece with Dusty Concord Distress Ink, using an ink blender, and then distressed the very edges all round with Black Soot Distress Ink.

I put 1” wide double sided tape on each side of the tab, and trimmed the excess with a small pair of curved scissors.

169 Pages 1 and 2 DS Tape on Tab for Tag

The tabs folded over and stuck down onto the top edges of the two tags, with the inked side on the page 1 side of the tag, and the plain one on the page 2 side, to match that paper.

170 Pages 1 and 2 Tabs in Place on Tags

Here are the two pages (one for each album) with the tags inserted, showing the tabs at the top.

172 Pages 1 and 2 Completed Tags in Place

This is what the tags look like when they are pulled out.

173 Pages 1 and 2 Tabs Pulled Out

I didn’t do a lot to the paper I chose for the tag for page 3; just some double distressing, first with Hickory Smoke, and then with Black Soot Distress Inks.

174-Page-3-Distressing-Tags_thumb2

Page 4 needed a bit more work. At this stage I forgot to photograph the paper as it was, but you can see it in the photo that follows. I also forgot to photograph the process for altering this paper, but I smooshed it with Pumice Stone Distress Ink first of all. This is a very subtle colour and is useful just for dulling down rather bright colours. My ink pad needs re-inking so I had to repeat the process, and afterwards, because it still didn’t show up very much, I applied ink onto the paper with an ink blender, and spritzed it with water, and dried it with my heat gun. I am quite pleased with the result.

This photo shows the double distressing I did on these tags, first with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink, which is a very similar colour to Pumice Stone, only slightly darker – nice and subtle – and finished with Black Soot.

175-Page-4-Inking-and-Distressing-Ta[2]

This photo shows the tag matted and layered on black cardstock, and lying on top of the original, unaltered paper from the paper stack. Unfortunately I had problems with this photo too – not sure what was going on with the camera – the light was most peculiar and the colours were not right, and after manipulating it in my photo editor, the original paper is almost right (a bit darker in reality) but the tag has come out too brown!

176-Page-4-Tag-on-Original-Paper_thu

Moving on to making the tabs for these tags, I cut them from the drab grey-ish paper from the paper stack (small sample in the centre of the picture) and punched them with the envelope punch board as before, and inked them as follows: for page 3, I used Peacock Feathers Distress Ink, and for page 4, Dusty Concord, and distressed the very edges of both tabs with Black Soot Distress Ink.

177-Page-3-and-4-Inking-Tabs-for-Tag[1]

Here they are, in situ on the two tags – the left one shows the side for page 3, and the right one, for page 4.

178-Pages-3-and-4-Tabs-in-Place-on-T[1]

You will see that in this case, I have glued the tabs onto the centre of the tags. Here are pages 3 and 4 with their tags in place.

179-Pages-3-and-4-Completed-Tags-in-[1]

This is how they appear with the tags pulled out.

180-Pages-3-and-4-Tags-Pulled-Out_th

Finally, laying them under pages 1 and 2, you can see how the tabs line up. On the left you can see page 1 on top, and on the right, page 4 is on top (for the 2 albums).

181-Pages-1-4-Completed-Tags-in-Plac[2]

There won’t be a tab on the tag for the final page, because it has a flap that can be used to pull it out from the page.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Floral Mini-Album Pt 15 Page Tags for Pages 1 and 2

Recently I made a new mini-album, about my mum who died in December. I was unable to publish anything about this until now because it is a present for her best friend, who sometimes visits my blog, and I wanted it to be a surprise for her. I wrote a series of blog posts as I did each stage of the project, so I didn’t forget what I did, and they will be published in sequence now the project is finished and has been given to our friend.

If you want to see the finished project, please click here.

In this session I started work on the large tags to go inside each of the pages, which were constructed hollow for this purpose, and also to conceal the hidden hinge binding system.

Just a reminder of how the pages are constructed:

003 Pages - Pieces Assembled

I began by cutting six pieces of black cardstock for the tags to go inside three of the four pages, and a larger piece for the final page – this was scored so that the shorter side would fold over as a flap.

162 Page 8 Scoring Tags

I then decided which papers to use for each side of these tags, to co-ordinate with the pages as the tags were pulled out. I stuck them inside each hollow page so that I wouldn’t get confused as to which belonged to which page. On the left you can see pages 1 and 2 for both albums (page 2 is on the reverse of page 1), and pages 3 and 4, all with their tag pieces slipped inside.

163 Pages 1-4 with Papers for Tags

In this photo you can see the same arrangement for pages 5 and 6, 7 and 98.

164 Pages 5-8 with Papers for Tags

Beginning to work on the tag for page 1. At the back is the original paper, and at the front, the two tags, altered with the Infusions and Distress Oxides shown on the left – Violet Storms and Violetta Infusions, followed by smooshing with Wilted Violet and Candied Apple Distress Oxides (the latter is one of the new ones I got at the craft show). Once this was dry and the pieces were ironed to get rid of the wrinkles, I double-distressed the edges with the Distress Inks on the right – Dusty Concord followed by Black Soot.

165 Page 1 Inking and Distressing Tags

The reverse of this tag, which will be visible when pulled out from page 2, was created with unaltered red card from the paper stack, simply distressed just at the edge with Black Soot Distress Ink. I don’t know what happened to the camera when I took this photo and the next one – the light was very peculiar and the colours weren’t right – I did my best with my photo editor but they still aren’t quite right, and they are also a bit out of focus.

166 Page 2 Tag Distressed - Odd Colour

Here are the two tags – on the left, showing the side for page 1, and on the right, the side for page 2. Again, trouble with the camera.

167 Pages 1 and 2 Tags Matted - Odd Colour

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Floral Mini-Album Pt 14 Working on the Small Tags for Pages 1 and 4

Recently I made a new mini-album, about my mum who died in December. I was unable to publish anything about this until now because it is a present for her best friend, who sometimes visits my blog, and I wanted it to be a surprise for her. I wrote a series of blog posts as I did each stage of the project, so I didn’t forget what I did, and they will be published in sequence now the project is finished and has been given to our friend.

If you want to see the finished project, please click here.

This session is about the work I’ve done on the tags to go in the pockets on pages 1 and 4.

Beginning with page 1, I cut the large and small frame from the new frames die I got at the recent craft show (see what a bargain I got!!), from a piece of scrap gold card, and stuck these down with Crafter’s Companion Stick and Stay spray adhesive. There will be photos or embellishments stuck in these frames eventually.

Note added later: Crafter’s Companion Stick and Spray adhesive isn’t very good – I find things lifting after a short while, and I’ve found that applying Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive or any other good wet glue with a precision applicator is the best way to attach delicate die-cuts.

152 Page 1 Die Cut Frames

I then turned to the tag I’d started making, which goes in the triangular pocket on the bottom left of page 1. In this photo you can see the original paper and the inking I did with Barn Door Distress Ink, stage 1 of triple distressing around the edge – a nice generous layer applied with a blending tool.

153 Page 1 Inking Back of Small Tags

Stage 2 in the triple distressing was with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

154 Page 1 Back of Small Tags Distressing 1

Stage 3 was with Black Soot Distress Ink, just on the very edge.

155 Page 1 Back of Small Tags Distressing 2

The pieces matted onto the back of the tags. You can see my double-sided taping equipment – following a brilliant technique I saw on Youtube, if you put a credit card flat on the piece, lined up with where you want to cut the tape once it’s stuck down, you can tear the tape against the card and it cuts it really cleanly. By doing this, you don’t have to put the roll of tape down and pick up the scissors and faff about cutting the tape. I peel back one end of each bit of tape just a little and fold it outwards, and peel the backing off once the piece is lined up correctly – this gives you a bit of wriggle room.The glue stick is really useful for this, too – for the centre of the piece, if you want to add a bit of DS tape or ATG adhesive – once it’s down, you can’t remove the backing, but if you remove it, and then run the glue stick over the tape, this also gives you some wriggle room and as one person said on Youtube, this actually makes the DS tape stronger once it’s dry. This technique is also very useful when the piece of DS tape is too short to use the first method – just pull off the entire backing strip and run the glue stick over the whole length of tape.

156 Page 1 Back of Small Tags Matted

Here are the two tags, the left one showing the front side, and the right one showing the back, one for each copy of the album.

157 Page 1 Small Tags Completed

Here they are, inserted into the triangular pockets on page 1.

158 Page 1 Small Tags in Place

I’m actually quite happy with the background I did on page 1 now, especially with the addition of the frame and the tag.

Moving on to page 4, I made myself a little bracket shaped template in order to make the tags to go in the pocket on that page. The rather dull grey-ish paper from the paper stack was improved somewhat with some double distressing, first with Dusty Concord and then with Black Soot Distress Inks.

159 Page 4 Small Tags

Here is the tag in place in the pocket. I like the shape of this, because it echoes the brackets you get on the beginning of each stave of music.

160 Page 4 Small Tag in Place

Here is page 4 lined up with page 5, to show how the double-page spread will look.

161 Page 4 with Small Tag and Page 5

Friday, 17 August 2018

Kombucha–My First Attempt

Recently I decided to try my hand at making kombucha, which is fermented tea, a health-giving probiotic drink. There are lots of helpful videos on Youtube and I found the best to be the one from Brothers Green Eats:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Axb37lMWI&list=PL-OKjxuL-AQgDUbD4Aa0D0LCNst8AbrIa&index=5&t=0s

and one from Blake Kirby, which many of his commenters say is the best one on the web.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23P7QqsjEMw&index=5&list=PL-OKjxuL-AQgDUbD4Aa0D0LCNst8AbrIa

Here is my jar of kombucha in the airing cupboard, about half way through the week. I think it looks like a kid playing a shepherd in a Nativity play!

01 Kombucha in Airing Cupboard 15-8-18

Today was the eighth day since I started. The experts say the “sweet spot” is between 7 and 10 days; anything sooner and it will still taste of sweet tea, and anything much longer than 10 days will produce a vinegary flavour.

02 Kombucha on Day 8 - Scoby has grown

All you need to make kombucha is sweet tea (black tea is best) and a Scoby – the acronym stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeasts. This thing is a slippery, rubbery thing which is made up of living organisms. It looks quite disgusting but it does the job! In the above photo, you can see the size of the original Scoby that I bought on Ebay, surrounded by new Scoby being formed as the original one grows.

At this point, I dipped in a ladle and scooped out a bit to taste. It tasted delicious, so I knew I’d hit the “sweet spot” and could go ahead.

Here is the Scoby, removed from the kombucha jar and placed in a bowl with some of the kombucha to help it on its way in the next batch. You can see that the new growth has collapsed but it will all unfold and spread when it goes back in the jar and starts growing again.

03 The Scoby Removed

Straining the kombucha, to remove any solid pieces. There is cloudiness at the bottom of the jar which is an accumulation of yeasts, which need to be stirred in so that nothing is wasted. It is important to avoid metal coming in contact with the Scoby so I am using a plastic sieve.

04 Straining the Kombucha

I didn’t have any suitable pure fruit juice and didn’t want to put whole pieces in the bottles, so I made a puree in my high-speed blender, using first mango and then raspberries, from packs of frozen fruit that I keep for my breakfasts on diet days.

05 Making the Fruit Puree

I put a little in the blender and added some water to make more of a thick juice than a puree. This was then funnelled into the bottles.

06 Putting the Fruit Puree in the Bottles

These are bottles designed for carbonated drinks, and have a swing top which keeps everything secure during second fermentation. Here is the puree in the bottom of each bottle.

07 Fruit Puree in the Bottles

Unfortunately I miscalculated and I hadn’t made enough kombucha to fill eight bottles, but only four. I’ve kept the excess fruit puree to make milkshakes etc.

Here are the four bottles, capped and ready to put in the pantry for 3 days to ferment again. There are plenty of bacteria and yeasts in the kombucha despite the Scoby having been removed, and these will act on the fruit sugar and reduce it by fermentation. As the bottles are firmly capped, this will also cause carbonation, with the build-up of carbon dioxide gas which will have nowhere else to go but into the liquid.

My four bottles ready to be stored in a cool dark place for the next three days.

08 Kombucha Ready for 2nd Fermentation

After this, if they are not drunk immediately, they will be stored in the fridge, which will arrest the fermentation, and also prevent the carbon dioxide from escaping too explosively when I open the bottles.

I have revamped my recipe to increase the quantities by half as much again, which will fill six bottles instead of four.

If I like it, I can see myself needing to make double quantity in order to produce a good supply to last while the next batch of kmobucha is being made.

After my attempt to make fermented apples, seen here on the left:

02 Apples and Kimchi 15-8-18

This is the result, served up for supper.

03 Fermented Apples, 15-8-18

I thought they were delicious, but my hubby only awarded 4 stars. Oh well, can’t win ’em all, I suppose. However, this won’t dissuade me from eating the lion’s share myself! Tonight for supper, I cooked up some of last year’s apples from the freezer, adding a small quantity of the brine from the fermented apples, and served it hot with custard. My hubby really liked that! I didn’t tell him it had fermented apple juice in it!

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