Having prepared the gussets of the bags in order to form the pages, I painted all the exposed edges with black acrylic paint to cover the brown paper. I initially tried inking them with Black Soot Distress Ink but this did not give a very opaque finish, and the acrylic paint was thicker and blacker, and quite quick to do, too. I used cheap black acrylic from my big pot, rather than posh artist’s stuff!
I have been humming and hah-ing about the hinges for the binding, and decided to fold the extending edges of the bottoms of the bags in half longitudinally to form the hinges, as you can see on the next picture. On her tutorial, Kathy Orta doesn’t do this, but attaches a hinge to the full width of the flap formed by the bottom of the bag in each side, which is simpler. The trouble is, my bags are so nearly square that I didn’t want to take up any of them for hinges, preferring to extend the hinges beyond the width of the page so that I didn’t lose any width. I do lose a vertical pocket on the back of each page, but this doesn’t really matter, because that page is occupied by a full-sized flap hinged from the top, and I can always add a pocket if I want to. (Hope this makes sense…)
I realise that I must allow a lot of space for the thickness of the papers, tags and embellishments. There’s nothing worse in the world of albums than the classic “Pacman mouth” syndrome where the pages don’t lie flat, but appear to be bursting open with all their additions! Sticking down these folded flaps and creating separate hinges from cardstock, each with a “gutter” of 1/4 in. should add sufficient thickness at the spine end to allow for this.
Each hinge piece (5 in all) measures 10 3/16 x 2 1/2 inches (this smaller measurement is 1 1/8 for each side, plus the 1/4 in gutter). The two hinges to attach the assembled album to the insides of the front and back covers are 10 3/16 x 3 1/2 inches – allowing for a 2 1/8 extension onto the covers for added strength. At least, that is the plan so far! (These works in progress of mine tend to develop a will of their own, and often my initial plans go out of the window as various problems arise that I hadn’t foreseen.)
These hinge pieces won’t be added to the pages until I am ready to assemble the album. It will be easier to add the papers and embellishments while the pages can still lie flat.
After touching up any gaps with black acrylic paint, I am now ready for the fun part – beginning to mat the pages and the pockets. The hardest part is deciding what papers to use for what, and I need to plan what will go best with the particular aspect of my Dad’s life that each page is celebrating.
I’ve roughed out what theme I want on each page, and started to choose the papers. I have now matted the basic papers onto the first page, which I have entitled “Ancestry.” This page has two pockets, one along the bottom, and one down the left-hand side, and into these I will place various tags, photo mats and journaling about my grandparents and great-grandparents. The main theme of the page is engineering to reflect my grandfather’s profession.
The background paper is from “Tattered Time,” and the other papers are from the Tim Holtz stacks “Crowded Attic” and “Lost and Found.” I shall be incorporating papers from these collections as they co-ordinate pretty well with the Tattered Time papers, and include more small elements which are useful for embellishing and creating tags etc.
It has taken me a very, very long time to get this far! I think this is going to be a long-term project as it takes so long to choose what to do, and then there’s masses of detail to add. I am enjoying sorting through the papers, which are gorgeous, and thinking about the additions which I shall make.