Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Big Reveal–Mystery Project Complete at Last–Floral Mini-Album about my Mum

Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the uncovering of my mystery project that I’ve been keeping hidden since January will be glad to hear that it has now gone to its new home, and I can show it to you at last. It’s a mini-album celebrating the long life of my mum, who died on 9th December 2017 aged 96.

This post will contain a selection of the final photos of the project, and the video of the flip-through that I made on Tuesday evening. Following on later will be a succession of posts describing the making of it from beginning to end, which will take some time even if I upload them on a daily basis, particularly as I am due to go into hospital next Wednesday so there will be a break during that time.

I have made two almost identical copies of this album, one as a gift for Mum’s best friend, and the other for us to keep. The only thing I have changed is the addition of her name in place of “Mum” in the one for our friend. This project has taken two months to complete.

If you have seen the various sneak peeks I’ve been tempting you with since I started, you might like to see if you can recognise any of them! The Flora containers with all the little bits of paper in them were the many photos and pieces of text, printed out and cut up and sorted into separate containers for each page.

I created a variety of backgrounds, some from scratch, and the others with varying degrees of alteration on papers from a stack I’d had in my stash for many years, which I didn’t actually like, and I decided it was time to use it! Until now I hadn’t had the knowledge of how to improve it so it was useable. Only a few of the papers were suitable to be used unaltered, and I struggled with those that I did alter, because the surface of the paper was slightly waxy and at first it resisted the inks until sufficient layers had been built up.

I obviously didn’t use all of the huge quantity of flowers that I made, but I needed to have enough of the different colours and shapes so I’d have plenty to choose from as I embellished each page. The remaining flowers will go in my stash to be used on other projects – a nice variety of colours to choose from!

Processes involved in the creation of this project were various inking techniques, die-cutting, cutting with my Cougar cutting machine, desk-top publishing on the computer, matting and layering, stamping, hand-embossing, drawing, making pop-ups and mechanicals, flower making, masking, punching, fussy-cutting and stencilling. Materials used included printed papers, plain cardstock, gold mirror board, mounting board, various glues (mostly double-sided tape, ATG, Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive and hot glue), Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Distress Stains, marker pens, UTEE, Stickles, liquid pearls, brads, magnets, threads and yarns, Infusions, Perfect Pearls. Equipment included my Cougar cutting machine, Cuttlebug, Envelope Punch Board, miscellaneous punches and stamps, stencils and masks, pens, coloured pencils, paper trimmer, Stanley knife, cutting mat, various scissors, heat guns, hot glue gun… There is probably more but that’s all I can remember for now!

I used Kathy Orta’s “Hidden Hinge” binding system for this album.

Anyway – enough chat! Here it is.

Floral Mini-Album

A mini-album about my mum’s life

This is an interactive album which on the surface appears to be a series of colourful pages embellished with flowers, but as you explore the various flaps, tags, pull-outs etc., its story is revealed.

This is the front cover.

01 Front Cover

Inside the front cover is an automatic waterfall mini with pictures of Mum’s early life. The pages turn as you pull the tab at the bottom.

02 Inside Front Cover and Page 1

03 Waterfall Mini Page 1

08a Reverse of Page 1 Small Tag Blurred

There is an opening at the outer edge of each page, with a pull-out full-sized tag, with photos and text, beginning with a family tree.

10a Page 1 Page Tag Being Pulled Out Blurred

The second page concentrates on Mum’s service in the Women’s Land Army during WWII, and page 3 is about her marriage and early family life.

12 Pages 2 and 3

15 Page 2 Magnetic Strap Open

17 Page 2 Reverse of Small Tag

18 Page 2 Flap Open

20 Page 2 Page Tag Being Pulled Out

23 Detail of Page 3 Top Embellishments

25a Page 3 Flap Open Blurred

27a Page 3 Page Tag Blurred

Pages 4 and 5 deal with Mum’s musical life.

28 Pages 4 and 5

33 Page 4 Small Tag Front

34 Page 4 Small Tag Back

35 Page 5 Small Tag Front

36 Page 5 Small Tag Back

32 Page 5 Pop-Up Cover

Under the flap at the bottom of page 5 is a piano keyboard pop-up.

38 Page 5 Piano Keyboard Pop-Up

39 Page 4 Page Tag Being Pulled Out

42a Page 5 Page Tag Blurred

Page 6 is the most interactive of the album and deals with many of Mum’s interests and favourite things. Page 7 is about her passion for ornithology.

43 Pages 6 and 7

It will be easiest to see how all the interactive bits work by watching the video.

45 Page 6 Underside of Top Flap

50 Page 6 Bottom Flap Closed

51 Page 6 Underside of Bottom Flap

55 Page 6 Centre Section Flaps Closed

55 Page 6 Centre Section Flaps Open

56 Page 6 Page Tag Being Pulled Out

58 Page 7

59 Page 7 Flap Underside

The large pull-out tags for pages 7 and 8 contain all the miscellaneous photos there was no room for in the rest of the album.

64a Page 7 Page Tag Blurred

72a Page 8 Page Tag Blurred

Page 8 and the inside of the back cover.

65 Page 8 and Inside Back Cover

Page 8 contains the second pop-up in the album.

69 Page 8 Pop-Up

Inside the back cover is a holder for a CD of Mum’s favourite music, which was also played at her funeral.

73 Inside Back Cover

75 Inside Back Cover CD Front

76 Inside Back Cover CD Back

Finally, the back cover and the spine.

77 Back Cover

78 Spine

And now for the video.

I am sorry to have kept everyone in suspense for so long with this project but you can see how much work was involved, and I couldn’t reveal it until it had been given.

Subsequent posts will deal with its construction from start to finish, and there will be more information in those posts. As you can imagine, I have drafted a lot of posts about this over the two-month period. I am very happy to have completed the whole project before I go into hospital next week, and have a clear desk to return to once I am feeling up to it.

I’ve lived and breathed this project for two months and it feels very strange to have completed it at last. I no longer have any excuse for neglecting all the other things I should have been doing!


  1. Stunning Shoshi! I can see why it has taken 2 months.

  2. what a beautiful, beautiful memory to have created - stunning! I am amazed it only took 2 months- you must have worked so hard each day. Loved the flip through too.

  3. Oh Shoshi, what a labour of love and such an amazing tribute to a loved one. I haven't watched the video yet as I have to leave for work shortly, but I will be back to view it. Amazingly beautiful!

  4. This is one of the most amazing handmade albums that I have ever seen. The photos of it are lovely but the video really allows you to see in it’s entirely. The background and the colours that you’ve used are vibrant, varied, and they all work in perfect harmony. I remember seeing a post of yours a while back with all the handmade flowers on and I was curious then as to what you would be using them for. All the various elements that you’ve used tie in so beautifully with the backgrounds and the wonderful photos of your Mum. As a crafter, You only have to look at this album to see all of the hard work, dedication and love that’s gone into it. I’m sure that your Mum’s friend and you too will treasure this album and the precious memories within it forever. I’m sure that your Mum would have been one very proud lady. I’m visiting my best friend today who sadly lost her own Mum last Friday and then her Mother-In-Law this Wednesday. Life can be so cruel at times but we all have storms that we must weather. Loosing a Mum is one of the hardest things in life for all of us but I’m sure that your album will bring you much joy in remembering the happy times. Thank you for sharing it with us Shoshi and I hope that all goes well for you next week. Crafty hugs, Sandra x

  5. This is such a beautiful celebration of your mum's life Shoshi. Your months of hard work have paid off. You should be really proud of the finished product. I hope your forthcoming visit to hospital goes well too...m

  6. What a wonderful album, such a labour of love. Happy belated woyww vicky#7

  7. Amazing Shoshi! what fantastic detail this is gorgeous. You must have spent hours working on it but it is brilliant and thank you so much for sharing this with us. Love the video too. Have a lovely creative weekend or maybe a rest would be a good idea. Angela xXx

  8. Shoshi...this album made me cry. I have never seen anything more thoughtful, Beautiful and put together with Love, art, craft, and total dedication. I hope you made one for yourself like it...but I guess you have the video, in itself very beautiful. I know your mum is so proud of you! Your friend must have been so elated to get such a personal, precious gift. God bless my friend. Love you xoxo. Trish

  9. What a gorgeous mini album for your mom's doubt she will treasure it always Shoshi!!!!


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