Sunday, August 30, 2015

Blossom Mini Album

I've promised that I will share the album I made with the retiring Blossom Paper and which was shared at the Close to My Heart Convention in July.

Thanks for your patience!  I am finally ready to share the highlights of the album.

Caveat:  Even though I'm only showing the highlights, it's a lengthy post that's picture-heavy!

Let's start with the cover:

I want to mention that I love the mini-album pages created by the Close to My Heart Artbooking cartridge and there are many pages in this album that were made using that cartridge (very few of them are included in this post though).  For me, however, I always prefer a sturdy cover for my albums and thus I've inserted my pages inside the Kraft 3-Ring Album.  I do not embellish the cover that much because I don't want the decorations to be crushed.  As seen in my album, I just have a sticker and a few rolled flowers from Close to My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge.  If I were not going to use this album, it would probably be very different.  But most of the albums I made will become gifts for family and friends, and I want them to be able to use them, thus functionality and purpose were always on my mind when I was making my albums.  Another advantage of the Kraft 3-Ring Album is that the user can re-arrange the pages as they please, which give them a lot of flexibility compared to a bound album.

Another note is that I love 4x6 prints.  I honestly do not have the time to sort photos then choose what size for which photo.  I normally upload hundreds of pictures and select 4x6 for all of them.  Again, I love those 3x8 pages made by the Artbooking cartridge but I don't see myself using them for holding photos.  I would normally use them for journaling.  Speaking of which, I am really itching to buy a photo printer.  If you have any recommendations, please let me know! :)

Now that you know why I prefer using the Kraft 3-Ring Album, let's look at some of the cute pages. Let's start with this one with a pocket and an accordion album:

The size of this page is 6x6.  I used a Memory Protectors Flip Flips 6x6 as the sleeve.  To make the spine sturdier, I stuck a half inch cardstock to the closure of the flip flap.  In fact, the cardstock also makes it easier to punch the holes to fit the album.  I decorated with two tags cut with the Art Philosophy cartridge (p.41 and p. 29) which were tied to the page by some Glacier extra thick twine and see the Smoothie flowers at the bottom?  They are negatives of a PML card cut from the Artfully Sent cartridge (p.31).  Oh the Sunset flowers on the cover of the accordion are the negatives from another PML card as shown on p. 17.  Let's just say I'm good at recycling, or better yet, upcycling. :)

Another favorite page of mine involves many "hidden pages".  The front looks like this:

The Glacier top is decorated with the Carnival Washi Tape pack and stamp images from the Blossom Workshop on the Go kit (sadly, it is out of order).  I've added a paper clip cut by Artfully Sent cartridge (p.45) and I've stamped a tiny floral image from Finding the Words on it.  And yes you can use the little clip to open the top page:

Then you'll see this when you turn this page over:

Again it is decorated with the Carnival Washi Tape Pack and I've stamped "DOCUMENTED" from Instalife stamp set.  This flap can be opened too:

The circles were stamped with the same tiny floral image from Finding the Words.  I have an overlay of circles from Artbooking (p.40) so I have to up-cycle the circle cut outs.  The page is tied to the page protector using a piece of Slate Diagonal Striped Ribbon.

An album isn't complete without tags, don't you agree?  This page is smaller that keeps two tag:

And the back of it:

I have been asked many times whether I have used the fuse tool to create the page protectors.  The answer is no.  Instead, just like everything else in this album, I either recycle or up-cycle the materials  For most pages, I started with one of the regular page protectors (except for some I started with a flip flap), cut it at 8" (because the album is that long) and I would use the rest of it for another page.  For example in this particular page, I have used Memory Protectors Design 5.  If you look at it closely, you'll recognize that this page is the left most column of the Memory Protectors Design 5.  But the top 4" were cut and I've turned it horizontally (counter-clockwise 90 degrees) and punched holes on the left to fit in the album.

Both tags are cut with the Art Philsophy cartridge (Smoothie tag on p. 70, Kraft tag on p.60).  The glacier butterflies on the Smoothie tag were also cut with the Art Philosophy cartridge (p.55) and the journaling lines came from Documenting Moments stamp set.  The back of the Kraft tag was decorated with some (leftover) Sweet Leaf cardstock punched with the Scallop Border Punch.  The front of it was filled with circles of various sizes.  I've also added pinked circles from Art Philosophy (p.61) and a circle stamped "Way Cute" from True to Life stamp set.

Now, how about a three dimension page?

The Smoothie page on the left was cut from p.48 of the Artbooking cartridge.  The bottom of the right page is a PML card cut from the Artfully Sent cartridge (p.19).  The Sweet Leaf on top is decorated with the cutout from another Artfully Sent PML card (p.11).  The label is an image from True to Life stamp set cut by Art Philosophy cartridge (p.25).  

Be patient.  The three dimensional portion is here:

The tag on the left was a Art Philosophy cut on p.48.  Simply shrink the card to become a tag, how fun is that?  So cute!  The three dimension part was made purely from cardstock and Blossom paper.  No Cricut cut was involved.  I have two 4"x8" pieces of Sweet Leaf cardstock folded in half, then put them in an "L" shape, stuck them together to create this flap.  

Let's take a look at another page with lots of flaps.  The front looks like this:

This page was made using the Memory Protectors Flip Flips 6x6.  I added a strip of Sunset cardstock punched with the Scallop Border Punch.  You could turn the page over with the Pear arrow (an image from Have a Happy Day).  

Inside this page, you'll see the sunset page stamped repeatedly with Botanical Backgrounds.  The label was a Artist cutout (p.66) stamped with the word "Love" from Finding the Words stamp set and you know you can turn this flap over, right? 

That's when another PML card from Artfully Sent (p.17) is fully exposed.  

The last page I'm sharing here is truly a favorite of mine.  It is fully of goodies:

This page made use of the Memory Protectors Design 5 again.  Did you see the top left one is titled "A Book"?  It is a mini book:

It was very easy to make.  Simple fold two sheets of cardstock in half, punch holes in the spine then thread the Glacier extra thick twine to tie them up.  

The top right journaling card is made with cardstock only, where a Art Philosophy tag (p.55) was used, matted with Smoothie cardstock.  The bottom part in Sunset was again stamped with Botanical Backgrounds.  

The tag on the bottom left is another favorite of mine.  I simple added the zip strip to the side, then added a few circles and a pinked circle stamped with images from the Blossom Workshop on the Go Kit, then top it off with a banner stamped with "Smile" from Documenting Moments stamp set.  The PML card on the bottom right was cut from Artfully Sent (p.32).

So these are the special pages in the album.  It was a lot of fun to create it and I'm sure I'll be making more and more albums.  They are great gifts for those who rarely craft but want one for a special event like graduation, wedding, etc.

Remember there are many other "rather ordinary" pages in my album, with the help of the Artbooking cartridge, Memory Protectors and different types of flip flaps.  I encourage you to use these tools to explore your creativity!  The possibilities are endless!  Further, even if you don't have "everything" it will still be fun to challenge yourself to be resourceful to complete a project.  I didn't have the fuse tool, for instance, but various types of Memory Protectors did the job just fine.  To tell you the truth, my Sweet Leaf ink pad was extremely dry, so I used Pear ink pad instead.  It's a shade darker than I wanted, but did you notice that?  Alright if you do please do not tell my recipient of this album, okay?

I had "functional" and "purpose" in mind when I created my album.  If you'd like full-blown embellishment, go for it!  Have fun and create whatever that makes your heart sing!

This is indeed a very lengthy post. Thanks for reading along.  Happy Crafting!

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