Friday, 23 November 2012

Tattered Time Mini-Album Part 1–Planning

Yesterday evening I started a very exciting new project – my very first mini-album! This is something I have been planning for such a long time, and although I am in the middle of the Card Factory (which is actually more of a chore than a delight…) I really felt the time had come to make a start. I shall be slotting other things in between, so this will be an ongoing project, like my Fine Art Album and my art journal, and other things that I pick up as the mood takes me.

Let me backtrack to the beginning. It was in September 2011, over a year ago, at the Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Exhibition, that I saw, and fell in love with, the DCWV “Tattered Time” paper stack and just had to buy it. Ever since then, I have wanted to use it for something but was terrified of messing it up, and every now and then I would get it out and go through it, and stroke it, and put it back on the shelf again! I also did a bit of Youtube research to see what other people did with it, and so the germ of an idea began, to make a mini-album with it, but this has been very much on the back burner since then.

More recently, and particularly since my dad has been deteriorating, I have been thinking about his life, and all the things he did and loved, and looking at the Tattered Time papers again, realised that they expressed so much about him. He has always had a passion for clocks, and has collected and repaired them most of his life. He and I have always been very close, and have shared so much fun over his various interests, and I used to “help” him in the workshop when I was small, watching him work, holding things for him, and learning so much. We shared an interest in typewriters when I began my secretarial course – there are pages relating to this – and of course his major passion for music, which is also represented. These are just a few of the things which will be included in the album.

Since I bought the Tattered Time papers, I have also acquired the Tim Holtz “Lost and Found” and “Crowded Attic” stacks – I have used a few small elements from these, but for the most part, they are intact. There are some elements in these collections which will mix and match quite nicely with the Tattered Time papers.

As I have thought about this, the ideas have been coming in leaps and bounds. Just recently, going through lots of old family photos, I’ve come across so many of Dad in his young days etc. My plan is to make a paper bag album, and to add lots of photos and journaling, and also to make some “mechanical” interactive elements to reflect his love of engineering and all things mechanical.

It’s just my personal opinion, but I have never been a great lover of scrapbooking layouts which incorporate photos and papercrafting – somehow to me the elements don’t mix that well, and if one isn’t careful, it can end up looking rather bitty and messy – there are glorious exceptions, of course, but for the most part it leaves me cold. The Tattered Time papers are so glorious that I really don’t want to cover them up with photos, so my plan is to celebrate the papers, and showcase them to the best of my ability, and to hide the photos and journaling on tags and inserts etc., and make it an interactive experience to look at them.

Over the past few days I’ve been doing some intensive research on Youtube into how to construct these albums, and there are some superb tutorials – also on bindings and closures, and I have now more or less decided on what I want to do. Unfortunately most of these tutorials come from the USA, where they have access to a lot of stuff we just can’t get here in the UK – in particular the bags. I have managed to source some, but of course they are a different size, so I cannot follow the tutorials exactly, as regards measurements, and will have to improvise, but this will make the project that much more my own.

Last year, I made some bag skirts for Christmas gift bags. I ordered several sizes of these bags from Ebay, and the seller made a mistake and sent me far too many. When I contacted him about it, he said it would be more hassle if I sent them back, and told me to keep them, and I have often wondered what I was going to do with them. This evening I decided to use some of the medium sized ones to make this album.

These bags are fairly thick, so I hope they are going to work OK for the album. I had to remove the handles, which are made of twisted paper, and quite attractive, so I thought I would save them, maybe to use as embellishments in other projects.

(They are lying on my new scratch paper – not much on it yet so it looks a bit strange!)

I am not going to give a tutorial on how to make up these bags into an album, because it has already been done very adequately on Youtube. I have decided to follow Kathy Orta’s first-class multi-part Youtube tutorial which she made, using the Tim Holtz “Lost and Found” stack, as she makes full use of the bags and their gussets for an album full of pockets for tags. The first part shows how to deconstruct the bags for the album.

Here are my bags with the gussets prepared:

and showing how the gussets fold up to form pockets.

Most paper bags come with a serrated top edge. In this picture, I am trimming this off, so that the bag measures 11 1/4 in from the bottom, with the gusset folded up. This means the finished dimension of each page will be 11 1/4 in wide and 10 3/16 in high.

I have prepared six bags in this way, which should be sufficient to complete my album.

Watch this space to see how this project progresses. Depending on what else I have to do, and how I am feeling, it may not progress very fast! However, once I get going, there may be no stopping me…


  1. Shoshi, this looks like a very interesting project. I will certainly be keeping an eye on your progress. Enjoy your Day. Hugs Rita xx

  2. What an awesome way to honor your dad and preserve your memories. The paper sounds perfect!

  3. hi Shoshi.
    This project sounds wonderful, and Im sure you would want to keep this album forever to look back on in years to come.
    So i am giving this warning PAPER BAG ALBUMS FALL APART, If you look on my blog i have a mini Album section you will see my paper bag album, Well it does not look like that now the Paper bags have started to rot, the brown paper is very dry looking starting to crumble, and im not sure if it because it is not acid free but colour has leaked from the paper bag onto my backing papers.
    So hun if you want a keeper album for years to come I would use Acid free cardstock to make it.
    I know how much work you put into your projects hun, you will be heartbroken if two years down the line its looking like mine.
    If you want to make one, do it they are fun to do, But I would do copies of your photos and make another one mini out of all acid free card and papers, as you do a paper bag page , make a copy for the acid free album.
    How is your dad doing?
    any luck with finding a house?
    most important is MUM BEHAVING Rofl.
    Take care, miss our chats, im back crafting again, now that I have a bit more time.
    Hugs Wendy

  4. Wowee Shoshi, this is going to be superb!! The videos are wonderful aren't they?! All those pockets and tag spaces! Fab! I can't believe we've both been looking/watching the same You tube guru's, lol.
    I have been looking at doing a paper bag journal myself, but because I don't buy bags and only have the usual ones from shops over here they don't have the flaps and gussets the american style ones do, so I'm not sure still how I can use mine. I've also got lots of 'pages' ready to be made into a book but I haven't decided how to do that yet either (jennibellie's fault for that one), and am amassing quite a stockpile of gesso'd and half painted items of old paper, booklets, envelopes. I think I'm turning into a hoarder, lol. Mo x

  5. I can't wait to see the next stage Shoshi. It looks like a bag Album that blog friend Anne of Redanne made for us on her last visit.
    Lynn x

  6. Hey Shoshi, I remember you mentioned this project to me in an email once. Great to hear that you are beginning it! I think that this is a great way to honor your dad's life :)You are making me think of the old photo albums of my grandfather. There are some really great pictures of him as a young man before he was evacuated from the west coast with the rest of the Japanese Canadians. Funny, in a way I am visiting my family's "hometown" here in Vancouver. Wishing you lots of fun with this new venture into scrapbooking! Bye for now :)

  7. Fabulous looking project you've started, will follow this with interest.

  8. Hi Shoshi, I'm glad to see that you're well and creating such lovely things. I miss you on Ravelry and was concerned.

    This project is just gorgeous and I appreciate the tutorial for how you're doing it!



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