Category Archives: mini albums

Carissa’s Creation

I’m about googely eyed.  I’ve been at this computer most of today trying to get caught up.

If you remember the story of Carissa’s friends that recently got engaged….the one’s that have been friends for 10 years.  Here is the beginning of Carissa’s creation for them.  I had so much fun with her.  We laughed, both of us had blank looks a couple times, my heart plummeted to my feet when I gave her wrong directions, and then my heart soared to the heavens when I saw that she was beginning to get a better idea of what she wanted to do on her own.

Squash Book oops moment

It had been quite a while since I made a Squash Book so I could not remember the folding sequence.  I told her to fold the paper in half diagonally the first thing.  WRONG.  It wasn’t until I saw how badly it was turning out that I remembered the process.

Fold the paper in half FROM TOP TO BOTTOM first, then turn so the crease is now up and down from the center.  Fold it again from TOP TO BOTTOM so you have four equal squares when the paper is opened.  Then you fold on the diagonal and crease from the center out on ONLY ONE SIDE.  When you open it up you will have two squares with no fold lines in it.  One will be the mounting square that you attach the other papers to.

Purple one is correct

The purple paper to the left is folded correctly.  You can see the one square, closest to you, that has no fold lines in it.  The brown paper is the botched one but it can be hidden.

There are NO mistakes in paper crafting.

Only OPPORTUNITIES for embellishing.

Or….I meant to do that 🙂

You can see the darker purple one to Carissa’s right near her mug that is folded correctly and has a flat top to it.  Oh well, it will all work out fantastic.

All attached

This is not a very hard thing to do.  Quite easy really.  You just need to remember there are only 3 folds to make.

Getting the thing to smoosh down is a bit of a trick in itself but once it learns how it is supposed to go then after a bit it will automatically fold that way.

When you do this you need to have a liquid glue to attach the pieces together as you see them.  Spread the glue thinly along the entire square or you will have the circles you squeeze the glue in and that is not a pretty sight.

You can also use a really good tacky tape just inside the folds and outer edges of the pieces to be attached.  That is what I would recommend.  Tape runners are not the best for this kind of thing.

Ahhhh, love birds

Carissa wanted to use this image she has on some Stampin’ Up! paper.  She wasn’t sure where she wanted to use it but it will show up somewhere on her piece when she is done.

She has one of the trimmers with the sliding blade.  That is a pretty good trimmer and has some tricks it can do that guillotine trimmers or rotary trimmers can’t do.

Once she marked the paper at where she wanted to make her top cut….

Using the blade guide

I showed her  how to use the blade guide to cut the paper in the dimension she wanted without cutting across the entire piece of paper.

As long as you have the paper evenly butted up against the paper stop at the bottom edge of the trimmer you can use the measurement markings on the cutting guide and cut the paper to the desired spot from the ruler gauge on top.

The cutting blade has a couple of pointy arrows on the sides that will line up with the marks on the cutting guide ruler so you can do some fancy cutting in the center of the paper to make a hole.  I’ll have to get one of these trimmers and do a tutorial on that sometime……

Auditioning the piece

As we all do, think we have the perfect piece of paper for a spot and put it on only to find that it is not quite right.  Carissa has set this piece off to the side for another place to put it.

Glimmer Mist

From the tons of stuff I’ve sent her over the years she has found of piece to use for this squash book.

I got to treat her to the wonders of Glimmer Mist.  Compliments of Jann Saulsbury of WhatYouMakeIt1 from the fantastic kit she made for me.

Like a product model I got to show her the bottle, teach her to “Swirl” the contents like Roxyfur showed us in her videos, instead of shake it up and down.  Then I had her spray the piece all over and then heat set the Glimmer Mist.

Carissa was not totally impressed with what we were doing until it dried and she held it under the light to see all the sparkle.  Gets them every time 🙂

Embellishement Kit

I have to brag a bit here.

When she had her Stampin’ Up! Workshop for me last Thanksgiving I made her this embellishment pack as a Thank You.

It is made from a left tab manilla file folder.  It is folded in a fashion to  make it into an accordion type holder with pockets.  I’ll have to see if I can dig up the instructions from Split Coast Stampers.

I made all the embellishments in this from my Stampin’ Up! stamps and attached them to a piece of clear stuff (I don’t know what it is called) with Stampin’ Dimensionals adhered on the back of the pieces and adhered to the plastic sheeting.

Enough patting myself on the back for now.

Carissa's Technique

This is totally Carissa’s Technique.  I won’t take credit for this one.  Works fantastic.

She has the Poppin Pastels from Stampin’ Up!  Carissa used a popsicle stick to get the chalk out of the tiny space that it lives in.  I was sure the chalk would crumble in her fingers but it stayed solid while she rubbed it around on the piece of paper she was distressing.

With the excess chalk that got on the top she used her fingers to smear it around and give the piece even more dimension.

You Go Girl!!!

More distressing

Carissa glimmer misted her matte piece, heat set it, and then used the chalk on it also.

Focal Point Matte

Carissa trimmed a piece of off white card stock to 5-1/2 by 5-1/2 since the front cover of the Squash Book is 6 x 6.

She is trying it out to see if she likes what she sees.

More distressing

Carissa started to use the ink pad flat on the paper and I stopped her.  I told her she would be leaving lines on the paper that would not look very good.

I had her do the edges in this manner.

Who knows which is the right way or the wrong way.  Some people like the over distressed look while others like a bit less.

The Try Out

This was the “Try Out” stage.  Put it in the center, off set it, move it to the bottom, over to the top?

Carissa settled for the center and stuck it down with big glue dots to give it some dimension.

A few flowers never hurt

Carissa chose some flowers I had in the kit from Jann.  Gave the piece some much needed pop of color.

Carissa rummaged through the brads I had given her a few years back and used a couple different colors in the flower centers.

Looking good!!!

No explanation needed

Your craft area never looks like this, does it?


A punch of print

This was Carissa’s choice for the adjacent page.

Awesome.  It looks fantastic.

Oh, and Carissa’s friends name is not Kristine…It is Krystal.

Oh will, began with a “K” anyway.

Lending a "Hand"

Carissa had some ribbon but it was all too thick to fit through the button holes.  I tried clipping down some paper to use in place of twine.  She remembered she had some tucked away in a drawer.

“Mom, can you help me”.  You bet.  I quite literally, lended a hand here to help her tie the bow on the button.  Two buttons to be exact.

Buttons and Bows

The buttons turned out so good.  She found a black heart shape and attached a lighter colored button to it.  The twine bows make it so cute.

A Stencil

I forgot all the ju..”stuff” I sent to Carissa.  Amongst it all was this mylar stencil.

She applied VersaMark from the pen into the stencil openings while I held it down for her.

“Are you sure this is not going to dry out” was Carissa’s repeated question to me.  I assured her that it would remain wet until she heat set it.  In the back of my mind I was thinking “Man I sure hope this turns out right or she’ll kill me”.

A bit of Gold Embossing Powder

Wouldn’t you know it!!!!  I forgot to have her use the Embossing Buddy on the paper BEFORE she used the stencil and the VersaMark.

I remembered it after she began sprinkling the Gold Embossing Powder over the VersaMark.

Well, truthfully, Carissa asked me if now was the time to use the Embossing Buddy.  Ooops.

Another stencil

Another stencil was brought out of the goody box I had sent her.

First she filled in the stencil area with the deep pink colored pen.  When we pulled the stencil away she didn’t like what she saw.  A look of panic came over her face and she was worried we had just screwed the whole thing up.

I tried to tell her we could fix it and cover it up.  She was not having any of that.  I asked if she had a fine tipped black pen to use.  She used that to follow the outside edges of the stencil.

Catastrophe averted

By the time we added a couple items to the large flourish stencil (with a bit of over whats-it of the gold embossing powder you can barely see) this page turned out quite beautiful.

Fabric Paper

This is fabric paper.  Cool stuff.  I love the color against the brown background.

Too late did I realize that this was to be a square piece instead of two triangles.  Oh well.  Never a mistake in paper crafting only an opportunity to embellish.

One of my tricks

Carissa said she had seen me do this on one of my videos and she wanted to give it a try.  She had even gone out and bought a quilting ruler because of it.

I love this technique.  You can figure out where you want the letters placed before they are stuck down permanently.   They are also aligned straight and with the proper distance between the letters.  I’m all for less wonky since I am the Queen of Wonky anyway.






Try that again

Carissa rummaged around through her stickers and she began coming up with what she wanted to say on the page.

Using the ruler trick some more…..

The final page

This is what she came up with for Kevin’s page.

Totally AWESOME page it is.

She used an image of sheet music to hide the gap between the two triangles so the page looks like she wanted it like that all the time.

A few more music related things and stickers spelling out “Music” and you don’t have to guess what he had been focusing on over the years.

Carissa, I’m so proud of you.  This was all your idea.  With just a bit of brainstorming you have begun a piece from our heart that your friends will cherish for a long time.

The remainder of the Squash Book will be done as she has time and finds her “Mojo”, which I’m sure will kick in and she will make this a work of art.

The funniest part of this process.  When she looked at what she had created she said the very same thing that I’ve heard uttered from other crafters.  I’ve even said it myself a time or two.

“I’m so jealous of what I’ve done.  I think I just want to keep it!”

And Rissa, you deserve to be proud of what you have created.


Shoes Were My Undoing

My shoes next to my husband’s

In March, near the first of the month, I had made a YouTube video about my fear of flowers and glitter.  I titled the video “Be Unstoppable”.  More as encouragement to myself as to let others know that fear holds us back from going forward.  Stepping into that fear helps us to move forward and accomplish what we want to do or be.

One of my subscribers had left a comment that having her face on YouTube would scare the “wee wee” out of her.  I laughed so hard at that comment.  In further correspondence with her I learned she spent most of her days beside her husband in Hospice with a terminal illness.

I don’t remember what video I had put up next on YouTube and this same subscriber posted that her husband had passed away.  It took several days for me to put the two subscribers together as the one with the husband that had been in Hospice.

When it had finally dawned on me I was in our foyer looking at the shoes there that need to be taken to the closet so the floor would not be so cluttered with shoes.  My thoughts went to my subscriber, Brenda, and what she would see when she came home from the Hospice the night her husband passed away.

Those shoes would never contain her beloveds feet again.  Those shoes will not go out the door of her house any longer.  Off on adventures far and wide.  Supporting his feet and keeping them dry and safe from pebbles and other sharp objects.  Those shoes will remain on the floor reminding her of her husband’s voice, his touch, his scent, his laughter.  I was so overcome by the thought that I broke down and cried.

The next morning as I was checking my email I decided to reach out to the corner of YouTube that I have subscribers.  I requested they send messages of support to Brenda in her time of grief.  Just to let her know that we cared about her and wished her well.

A couple days after my plea I received a message from another subscriber, Debbie, that had lost  her husband one week before Christmas 2009.  Her grief was fresh also.  Four months since she last heard her husband’s voice.  Again, my thoughts went to those shoes in my foyer.

What can I do?  I can’t tell either of them that I understand what they are going through.  I don’t know what they are going through.

Giving this some thought, and what personal information I had been provided by my friends, I wondered what I would like to have given to me in remembrance of my husband.

My gift to Brenda

For Brenda, I made her a mini album for her to put favored photos of her beloved in along with some journal spots to recount most treasured times spent together.  This is the video I made of Brenda’s mini.  It is a photo montage of how I created the mini and what products I used.  If you would like to recreate this mini the link is here.  Part 2 of this set is here.

My gift for Debbie

For Debbie I personalized her gift just a bit more from a favored story she told me of her husband.  If you would like to see what I made for Debbie, and how I did it, you can view the video here.

We all have difficult times and are in need of support at one time or another.  The YouTube community I belong to is a totally awesome community.  I am extremely proud to be a member of this crafting corner and to have made so many friends.

Squash Book & Altered Journal

I have a total of four (4) family members with birthdays in April.  These items, the Squash Book and the altered journal, are for my two daughters.  Alright, as you watch the video I tell you the journal is for my Daughter-In-Law but she is so special that I consider her a daughter, too.

I got in such a hurry to get these mailed in time that I forgot to take photos of them.  You can see them in this video I’ve posted.

The Squash Book, itself, is made from four 8×8 pieces of card stock folded in the following manner.  I’m using a piece of 12×12 card stock so you can see what to do.

Begin with card stock laid out flat

I had to hunt for a surface clear enough to take these photos.  Several projects are going on right now for all of my birthday people and I’ve seemed to have run out of room.

So, find a clear spot to lay your paper out.  If you will be using patterned papers you might want to begin with just plain card stock.  Once you have completed these steps and have all the fold lines, try to match your pattern within the spaces created from the fold lines.  Sound like too much work?  Then just follow along here and we will address that issue at, or near, the end of this post.


Bring the bottom edge to the top edge.


Crease the fold well

Make sure to match your top edges when you bring the bottom to the top.  If you are a bit wonky in your fold here it will cause the whole thing to go off.  You don’t want to start off badly.


Open the paper and turn so crease line is vertical


Bring the bottom edge to the top


Crease your fold

This is what it will look like:

Four equal quadrants

Your card stock should now look like this.  You will have four equal squares marked by the fold lines you have just made.

This is the base and it is critical these folds and creases are not wonky.  Everything, pretty much, works from the center.  The place where the folds all intersect.  Make sure they all meet in the same place, at the center.


We will begin the triangle folds

With your card stock now in the position with the corner tips in place, as shown in the photo, we will go to the next bit of folding.

Bring bottom tip up to the top tip


Crease this fold

The finished folds

This is what your paper should look like.  You will have two corners with diagonal folds running through them and two corners that are left square.

These square areas are where you will be attaching your pages.

Using the “Sticky Strip” by Stampin’ Up!, and only in the full squares.  Place the tape just inside the square area beneath the adjoining creases. Only put the Sticky Strip on ONE of the card stock pages.  It is not necessary to put the tape on both pieces being joined.  When you go to attach the next piece of card stock you will apply the Sticky Strip to the square that is exposed and has no tape.

It will take some coaxing at first to get your assembled pages to begin to look like this…

With use this will stay down.

When all pieces are adjoined you can create this…

Photos added to all areas

You can add your designer papers in places you don’t have photos.

Designer Papers or patterned papers

These mini albums are fun to create.  You can get so much in them.  The photos can be cut on the diagonal to fit the places with center creases.  Just attach the photos within the area of the creases.  Do not put the whole photo in the areas that will fold.  This will damage your photo.  You might have to snip a bit off the outer edges of the photos to make them fit within the creases but that is alright.

I hope  you have fun with this project.

Quilting Mini For A Friend

I am desperately trying to use up my older papers.  Family gifts are what these papers are being used on.  Beautiful papers, I don’t want to throw them out just because I’ve become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator.  I may get in some trouble here, but I really like the way this came out.

I’ve used a mixture of fabric, paper, alcohol ink, glitter glue, chipboard pieces, brads, and way too many flowers.  The book won’t close because of all the flowers.

Quilting Friend's Mini Album

Vintage Labels (Stampin' Up), punches, and brads

A big paper clip

These are just a few of the pages in this book.  If you want to see the whole thing, tags, brads, stamping, and all then you can see it in this video I’ve put up.

This was really fun to make.  The chipboard vintage pieces I got from my local scrapbook store, and the vintage brads also.  The flowers and metal flower centers I got from my local craft/hobby store.  The dress trims are from my local fabric store.

If you want the stamp sets I used from Stampin’ Up!, they are:

Tiny Tags – #118091 (wood mount) and #118592 (clear mount),

Vintage Labels – #118392 (wood mount) and #119122 (clear mount).  These are in the Sale-A-Bration catalog and are free with a $50 purchase.  Time is running out on getting these.  You have until March 31, 2010 to get these.

Round Tab Punch #108340,

Scallop Circle Punch #109043

Curly Label Punch #112208

You can get these products at my Stampin’ Up! website and they will be shipped directly to your home.

This mini was so much fun to make.  Especially the flowers, even though I got a bit carried away with them.

Paper Bag Mini Album

Nouveau Chic Mini Album

Nouveau Chic Designer Series Paper #115670; Scallop Trim Border Punch #118402; Top Note Die #113463; Cosmo Glitter #108796; Circle Brads #112571; Circle Fire Rhinestone Brads #109110; Scallop Trim Corner Punch #118870; Vintage Vogue Stamp Set #118598; Round Tab Punch #108340; Two Tags Die #115954; Beautiful Wings Embosslet #118138; Medium Jewelry Tag Punch #117190; Petal Card Die #113467.

This mini album is created from paper lunch bags I picked up at my local grocery store.  The front, back, and spine covers have been made from pieces of cardboard product boxes I keep just for this type of project.

Ribbons and Charms

Alpine Originals Ribbon #113100 (Clearance Rack); 1/4″ Basic Black Grosgrain #109027; 1/4″ Pretty In Pink Grosgrain #109032; 1/4″ Apricot Appeal Grosgrain #109040; 5/8″ Certainly Celery Satin #117288.

The beaded strand is from my stash, the jute twine is from my stash.

There are many sources on the internet for learning how to put the paper bags together into a mini album.  YouTube has tons of videos on them.  The video I found most helpful in this project has been this video tutorial from Laura at FollowThePaperTrail on YouTube.  She also has a blog at blogspot.

In my opinion, this tutorial is the best one for getting the paper bag album to look more like a book than the paper bag albums you can get from eBay that are stitched and have hole punches on the spine.

You can watch the video I made for this album and see what I did with the various Stampin’ Up! dies and punches.  I have used about 97% Stampin’ Up! products while the small remainder has been from my stash.

I don’t go into all the whining at the beginning of the video for why I had gone missing for the month of February.  Chalk that up to “Be Careful What You Wish For” is all I can say.  After spending so many years as an over the road truck driver and being home for such short periods of time I longed for the ability to be home all the time to do my paper crafting.

When the freak winter snows hit here in Oklahoma and shut down the entire metro area for two weeks was not something I was ready for.  Thankfully I had power all the time but the solitary confinement got the best of me.  Add in a dose of rebellious three year old tantrums because I was restricted to using Stampin’ Up!  ONLY products in my creations made for a not so welcoming atmosphere in my home.   Add in the fact that I had some gross time management issues with all the things I created for my Valentine’s blitz to family with no time left to create in my business started a spiral that became a whirlpool and I just let myself be sucked in.

I’m out of that horrid depression.  Get back up, rinse the muck off, and start over.  Not sure if I’m going to be keeping up with the daily videos as I did in January but I’m getting back to creating.   I’ll find my way again.

I really need to thank a couple of YouTubers that checked in on me a couple times to see if I was still here.  That was totally awesome and unexpected.  Tachar and WhineSwine I have to thank for checking in on me.

I have a little over 100 YouTube Subscribers and I am having a Thank You Give Away during March.  Check my blog out to see what is happening in the next few days.