Archive for the ‘minibooks’ Category

I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two, but I’m a little busy. And I know that I am not alone in this club! One thing that gets lost in the business of life is my scrapbooking. I used to be a “super scrapper” staying up all hours of the night, even keeping up on my photos and stories. And then graduate school and career started to take over my life and I dropped my scrapping. The problem is I love scrapping, love making mini books for our family and for the grandparents. And mostly I like to keep a record of our family life that says- we where here.
A while back at one of my favorite thrift stores I found a set of monthly 4×6 index card dividers. While looking thru my junk this spring I found them again and thought they’d be a great mini book for the year. This is also a way for me to keep track of stories through out the year so I can go back (maybe) and do large scrapbook pages.

Many of the photos I took this summer I used my iphone hipstamatic app, these are smaller and square.
-In photoshop I resized and placed two photos on a 4×6 canvas to print.
-I cut various papers into 4×6 pieces
-bought a package of word bubble type embellishments
-saved tickets and other bits of everyday life
-Punched holes and bound with a ring


a few inner pages

What I love:
I can make this as big as I need to by changing the rings.
It’s just the right size for the kiddies to handle. And there are not a lot of extra embellies on it so it’s not delicate.
I can adapt this to any season, maybe even make one for each kid as a highlight of their year?
This can be as complex/simple as you want to make it!

If you haven’t scrapped in a while or don’t srapbook, this is a super easy way to document your photos and record stories!


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Birds are on my mind a lot lately. When I sit down to journal, I always do a status update of the 2 finch nests. What I like about birds is their way of gathering found materials to create a nest that is strong enough to lay their eggs and keep them safe until they hatch. You don’t see birds looking for the latest pottery barn catalog, or watching some decorating show for new ideas. They stick to what they know: nest building. And they use what they find. A reminder to me that my home is not a sum of it’s coordinating pillows are fancy stuff. Making do with what I have, using what’s on hand instead of rushing to the store to get what I think I need.
One skill I have is gathering and collecting. If you could see the things I’ve collected and stored away for “some” day. Last weekend I found some of the little Jenni Bowlin bingo cards. I see these online and covet them thinking of the wonderful things I’d make if I had these. So I bought a little pack. Normally these would get looked at for a while, then put away for something “special”. But yesterday I was in a mood, and got to making stuff. My two little people were watching pbs and I was nearly manic with the need to make something, get a paintbrush out, dirty up my hands. I felt a little bad that I wasn’t doing something with my kiddies or being productive doing house work or homework. But I got over it pretty quick! 🙂

So here is a little bird book. Made from a few of my favorite bits of things I’ve been holding onto. Does it have a purpose? Not really, other than to be something little and pretty and in tones of ivory.

front cover with bird punched out of a Starbucks sleeve

inside, small watercolor painting.

back cover

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This past year has been rough, not just personally but for also for our marriage. I’ll admit that we’ve both been difficult to live with. But with a fresh start to a new year, talking over a lot of things, we are doing better. By the way, we watched the movie Fireproof together. And if you are married, if you are struggling or just perfectly happy, see this movie with your spouse. It is powerful and can really help put things in perspective!

Anyway, it seemed appropriate to make a sweet valentine for my honey that looked at the good, bad, and the in between of our 15 years together. I’m keeping it real here!
My idea was to talk about what a real love story is all about.

First I covered 4 of the On Board heart book pages with the Sending Love DSP. Then added ric rac along the edges from my grandma stash of goodies.

Next I added a scallop envelope to the left hand sides of the book, a pocket on the right side for photos. These I added personal notes to describe a bit of that section of our life together.
Then I went into photoshop and made my story “headers”. I sized them to punch with my 1 3/8 ” circle punch. (The color isn’t right but I rolled with it!)

-starts with a cast of two

-follows the twists and turns of everyday life

-and has no ending


My husband loved it, and even got a little weepy reading the notes. sweet!

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I love mini books.
They are fast, fun, great way to document an event with lots of photos, and a great way to share photos. I’ve admitted that I take a lot of photos of my two cuties, but even I can only scrapbook so many photos! So I started three years ago making minis as a way to celebrate seasons and to give to the grandparents.
My two basic types are Tag and Accordion. And these two can be interpreted in many different ways.

I love tag books, either made with pre-made tags or ones I’ve made my own tags or shapes. These were tags I made to the size I wanted, bound with a binder ring, accented with ribbon, ink, paper, and stamps. I also use ribbon or twine for binding. Usually I will add a brief bit of journalling.


Another variation of tags is using die cut shapes like the Top Note from Stampin Up!.

This was a gift for my husband showing the things I love about him as a daddy and husband in photos. Each little envelope is a mini love note to him. Kind of sappy but so true.

The second type of mini, the accordion is not a new idea, I’ve seen this done all over magazines and online in a million of ways. But my variation, I call the “wallet mini” I came up on my own when my dad complained that he needed pictures of the babies to pack around to show around. So I wanted to make a mini book of photos to carry that wouldn’t be too “foofy” and would fit in a shirt pocket like the notebooks that he carries daily. Then the hubby piped up that he wanted something that wouldn’t take up too much room in cubical’ville.

I used the size of a business card as the starting point, growing into a slightly larger size to accommodate a 2×3 wallet sized photo. The embellishing and binding is kept simple. My husband likes to stand these on his desk at work. M
I like them to stay closed when folded so I’ll twist a piece of twine around a button or make a “garter” out of ribbon or elastic cording that can be slipped on and off easily!

Using wallet sized photos:

Using smaller photos:

My dad has a spot where he keeps his important daily things along with all of the minis I’ve made for him in the last three years. All of these minis are a little faded and worn. They look like they’ve been carried in a shirt pocket and taken out many times and unfolded. I love seeing this! Love seeing that something that I made is carried with such love!

And to me this is the whole point of minis: your photos are meant to be looked at, carried around, shared, and touched.

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simple delights mini

I was inspired by Stacy Julian’s challenge to take time to make something for myself. She suggested a mini book to remind us of our blessings. I make mini books for the grandparents and husband but not often for myself. I took this little challenge as an opportunity to make a fun mini to keep with me.

simple delights

I kept it simple with kraft–my new favorite card stock, a few definitions from the Define Your Life set and a few scraps from the Autumn Vine paper pack from Stampin Up! Then I selected a few pics and made a basic plan.

From simple delights

Most of my mini books follow this basic formula, I just add more ribbon or other embellishments as needed.
I used the definitions as the title of each page and as a starting point for my journalling.

From simple delights

And since I love lots of bits of ribbon hanging on things I them to the spine with a dab of liquid glue to hold the ribbons in place. I also added some left over rub-ons and a piece of burlap (another favorite) to finish the cover.

From simple delights

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In these uncertain times, with money stress and family stress and all the everyday stuff that we all deal with I have to remind myself that my life is really good. We are all healthy and have each other and we have each other. Last week I read off a young mother who’s husband died unexpectedly after a stroke. She has two little boys and now she’s on her own. I can’t even imagine losing Stephen. We’ve been married for 13 years and don’t even want to imagine living with out him or raising our twins without him. To raise money for this family, scrappy and mixed media artist Emily Falconbridge hosted a few silent auctions. I followed along, praying that there would be people out in the blog world who would help out. I was really pleased when Emily announced a way for everyone to participate in any amount and in return would get access to a “Messy Book” video tutorial.
I like her style, it’s fun, funky, messy, with paint and all sorts of other things added to a scrapbook page or mini book. And until now, I haven’t been able to attempt it. Watching her make this book with this and that and paint and paper was very inspiring and fun. So during nap time I decided to make a messy book of my own.

From messy book

I didn’t trust sewing the pages as my machine and I have a very difficult relationship and I didn’t want add any more stress to it.
My idea for this book was to use things I rarely or never use. I’m tired of holding onto a piece of paper or other little thing like I’m afraid there will never be another like it in the world! To start with, I got out the Prima paintable card stock. It has a watercolor paper texture, with a beautiful drawn background that just was waiting for paint. But again, I hesitated to cut into it and use it. No More, I painted and cut it up to add to my book.

From messy book

I also had bought a pack of the 6×6 die cut pages from Making Memories. You know the ones with the cool ledger lines and funky shapes. Yeah I bought them nearly a year ago, waiting for something special.

From messy book

What a dork! At first I was going to make a photo mini out of this and as I gathered things up I decided to make it a journal of sorts. I had a watercolor I had done a few years ago that I never liked but since it’s on my favorite w/c paper Arches (say with a french accent) I never got rid of it so I could paint on the other side.

From messy book

I ripped it into sections added it along with the cover from the w/c paper pad.
Then I added more bits and envelopes and tags until I had a big pile of pages.

From messy book

I then bound it all together with my Bind it All that I was sure I needed and need to use much more. For the cover I added bright pink felt that I will add more stuff to as I use it.

messy book

My book grew and evolved and now I think it will be a art journal, and a place to write my inspiring thoughts and favorite Bible scriptures. I may add paint and gunk it up bit, or I’ll use watercolor and illustrate a few things. Who knows? But right now I’m pretty happy with the final result.

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Week in the Life Album

I decided to follow along a bit with Ali Edwards and her week in the life project. I’ve done this a few times in my short time as a scrapper (about 3 years) and it’s always fun to see little snippets of our life captured in one place. I have to admit I didn’t do too great with the daily photo thing, and ended up doing a little over two weeks just to feel like I had a good shot of out life.
I used a 5×7 Maya Road chipboard album that I’ve had for at least a year or more. It was nice to finally decide to just use it and not save it for something “special”. I always save the calendar insert that’s in the beginning of each issue of Real Simple, meaning to do something with them and used one for my album <a href=”

From day in the life album

“>cover. Since it’s the fall season I decided to use the “Autumn Vine” patterned paper from Stampin Up! I covered the chipboard pages and used pieces through out the album. This pack of paper is one of my new favorites, I love the colors! Sticking with this pack of paper made it easy to keep my album cohesive and I used the colors in the paper, Really Rust, More Mustard, Sage Shadow, and Chocolate Chip.
I knew if I didn’t keep the formula simple and sit down to make the album it would never get made.

From week in the life album

I dusted off a phrase maker stamp (is that the name?) from Provo Craft that I’ve had for a long time. I used a date stamp from Staples to add the dates to the pages. I still need to finish the journalling and embellishing but I like how the album turned out.
<a href=”

week in the life album

“>Here is the album.

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