Sunday, 25 March 2018

Floral Mini-Album Pt 1 Going Back to the Beginning–Preparing the Pages

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 vowed I wouldn’t start any new projects until I’d completed my Infusions mini-album which has more or less bitten the dust recently! Ah well… This new project takes priority for now! Nothing has been done in my studio for weeks as there has been so much to do, with Mum’s death, and my hubby breaking his leg, and my health problems to think about, not to mention Christmas in the middle of it all. It has been a real joy to get back in the studio, and to spend some quality time in there again, doing what I want to do, instead of running around like a mad thing and getting really stressed out!

For the template for this mini-album, I have been following a Youtube tutorial for a basic mini-album:

It’s only got four pages (eight sides) and the finished book is very thick, but this allows for plenty of pockets, flaps, additional photo and journaling mats, and embellishments. I have a paper stack that I’ve had for years and never used, and masses of embellishments and other bits and pieces, and I think this will be a good opportunity to use some of these things – over the years one can accumulate an awful lot of stuff and it’s good to root it out and use it once in a while. Most of the embellishments will be flowers, though, made specially for this project.

Note added later: The paper stack in question is of unknown origin – I may have bought it, or I may have been given it. In the early days I acquired a lot of stuff, not really knowing what I was doing, and as I progressed and developed, I realised that much of this early stuff really wasn’t what I liked at all, so it just sat around gathering dust. This particular paper stack seems to be unbranded, and while some of the papers are quite nice, and the whole thing covers a range of different colours, much of it is horrible, and it has a lot of text on it, which I would never want to use. I think it was primarily designed for scrapbooking on the theme of family (lots of quotes about families) and the paper certainly wasn’t designed for altering, as I discovered as this project progressed – the surface is slightly waxy and it resists water, causing any applied wet inks to bead up. However, after several layers, it does seem to behave a bit better. Pages I thought I could never use have now been transformed and have become eminently suitable for the current project. Nice to know that I now have the skills to use up stash that might have ended up being given away, or in the bin!

As I did with my Mamhead mini-album, I am making two identical copies of this mini-album so that I can give one away, and keep one. For the sake of simplicity, I shall describe each step as if I am making only one copy, although some of the photos may show the parts for both.

On this first day, I completed the basic structure of the four pages. I have made them from American Cardstock 12 x 12 in black which will give a nice uniform look once the papers are added, leaving a narrow black border around everything. For the entirety of the album I have chosen a 1/8 in border for matting and layering which also helps with the uniformity of the design, particularly as I am going to be using a lot of different colours.

Cutting, scoring and folding the page pieces.

001 Pages - Cutting and Folding the Pieces

Each page is constructed as a tube, closed at top and bottom, and open at the sides. One side will be attached to the hidden hinge system of binding, and the other side will remain open for the insertion of a large pull-out tag for photos and journaling.

Here are the larger pieces with the double sided tape applied, ready for assembly.

002 Pages - DS Tape on Pieces

The page pieces assembled. You can see the open sides.

003 Pages - Pieces Assembled

Although the album has four pages, from now on I am going to treat each side as a page (like a normal book) as this will help with the descriptions, and to remind me where I am.

On the first page, I have added a triangular pocket at the bottom left which you can just see if you look closely.

004 Page 1 Triangular Pocket

On another Youtube video I saw these triangular pockets which I really liked because while they are effective at holding tags or photos or whatever, they do not obscure them as much as a standard pocket would.

The second page has a large flap attached at its outer edge.

005 Page 2 Large Flap LH Side

The third page is a mirror image of the second, creating a double-page spread with large flaps either side.

006 Pages 2 & 3 Large Mirror Image Flaps

The fourth page has a pocket along its inner edge. In the photo, you can see that I have attached this to the page, and the pocket for the other album is resting on top, showing the scored and folded edges ready for the double-sided tape.

007 Page 4 Pocket RH Side

On the fifth page, I have decided to add a pop-up, and I have attached a flap at the bottom for this.

008 Page 5 Piano Keyboard Flap

The sixth page has two large flaps attached top and bottom, which overlap.

009 Page 6 Large Overlapping Flaps Top & Bottom

This is what they look like when open.

010 Page 6 Large Flaps Open

The seventh page has a pocket at the bottom.

011 Page 7 Pocket at Bottom

I haven’t added anything to the eighth page yet. It will probably have another pop-up.

Inside the front cover there will be an waterfall mini, and inside the back cover, there will be a holder for a CD of Mum’s favourite music. I have yet to decide how to embellish the front cover.

On several of the pages, the flaps will be closed with a magnet fastening.

012 Pages 2 & 3 Magnet Fastenings

This was the amount I achieved on day 1 of this project. Not bad! I am very pleased to be back in the studio again after so long, and I want to crack on with this project and try to finish it before I go into hospital for my operation, because I’ve no idea how I’ll be afterwards, and how long it will take me to recover.

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