December 8, 2017

Vintage Christmas Album - CCC Design Team project

Hello everyone and happy holidays!  As we busily prepare for upcoming celebrations, remember to take lots of photos with family and friends to fill this heirloom album, made with the beautiful Blue Fern Studios "Vintage Christmas" paper collection and matching self-adhesive chipboard shapes. This book has 20 pages with extensions, pockets, mats and journaling cards to record your memories.  I am using the Graphics 45 album (described & photo below) which is a "ring binder", thus, we will not be building a hinge system for the pages, I will instead concentrate on giving you tips and techniques for covering, die cutting and decorating the album front - a much requested technique in a recent survey conducted by Kimmy Murray (thank you!).  Enjoy and please share this blog site with like minded friends!

I used 24 pieces of 12" x 12" heavy weight, double sided printed papers, basically two each of 12 designs.  These papers are not matted onto a solid color background, but heavy enough to stand on their own so both sides can be appreciated and used as a page.  Also used is Country Craft Creations 12" x 12" Artisan Cardstock - 4 Evergreen; 2 Ivory; 4 Burgundy, and 4 of the 8 1/2" x 11" White Pearl.  I am also pleased to be using (with Tamera's permission) the wonderful Anna Griffin detailed embellishment dies.  A complete supply list is at the bottom of instructions.

The album cover is Graphic 45 Kraft Mixed Media Album, 8 1/4" x 8 3/4" x 2" with inserts.  We will not be using the inserts, but keep them as pages & patterns for future projects.  I slightly reduced the insert page size to 6" x 8" so we can cut two pages from a single sheet of  12"x 12" papers - saves paper and increases the size of the album.

This album page size is 6"x 8"

CUTTING the PRINTED PAPERS - FIRST, I pull out one each of papers that are preprinted "panels", cards or other designs that need to be cut apart, to be used as pocket cards, index tabs, etc.   I then select papers for the cover, back and inside, including the tree & roses designs to be cut out for embellishments, set them aside for the moment to be sure you have the desired cover look you want!  NEXT I chose 2 papers to be used for large envelope pages. NEXT - select 2 or 3 papers for pockets and fold-out pages, because these too need to be cut larger than the standard page size.
Cut off the manufacturers word band, then decide how you want the design area to show on the page - detailed border print papers can be aligned to cut 4" off the bottom OR top, then cut again at 6" center to end up with 2 pages.  Designs centered at the top or bottom of the page can be "cut around", sometimes I do not use them on a cut page, but trim them away for additional embellishments, then use the rest of the paper piece to cut into page sizes.  Please refer to the below photographs of each page set to see how the prints are used in this album - of course you can be creative and cut any way you desire!  SAVE all your scraps for add on pockets (those not cut into the page), diecuts, waterfall cards & embellishments.

COVER cut is 8 1/4" x 6 1/4"; Back cover is 8 1/4" x 7 3/4"; Inside front cover is 8 1/4" x 7 3/4"; Inside back cover is 8 1/4" x 6 1/2"; Inside spine piece is 8 1/4" x 1 3/8".

ENVELOPE pages are 11" x 11" (Mine are folded on the We R Memory Envelope Maker).
FOLD-OUT POCKET pages are cut 12" x 6" and scored at 4" from bottom (on 12" side).
SIDE FOLD OUT pages are cut 8" x 9 1/2" and scored at 2 1/2" (on 9 1/2" side).
Regular PAGES - of 12" x 12" pieces are cut to the 6" x 8" size as described above.
SCRAPS are cut into - Inside front cover pocket is 7 1/4" x 4 3/4"; Inside back pocket is 6" x 4 3/8"; add on (glued in) page pockets (not diecuts) are 5 1/2" x 3"; Journal cards are 4" x 6"; Waterfall cards are 4" x 3 1/2"; other add on pockets are diecut and size varies for diecut shape - cut accordingly.

CUTTING the SOLID COLOR papers using heavy weight 12" x 12" CCC Artisan Cardstock - Evergreen 1" x ? - each album is hand made and you will need to measure from the cover fabric edge to the outside album edge for your length - 4 strips are cut for the top and bottom, front and back; 2 longer strips are cut for the front and back side edges (see photo below).
PHOTO MATS are cut 4" x 6" from the Evergreen, Burgundy and White Pearl Artisan Cardstock then corner rounded but not inked
JOURNAL CARDS are cut 4 3/4" x 3 1/4" from Ivory Artisan Cardstock, corner round & inked.

CORNER ROUND before inking, the right hand page edge, top and bottom, with a large corner rounder - fold any extended pages to punch so edges will match.  I DID NOT corner round any of the left side edges on the ring binder side (to be hole punched) - your choice.  I also used both a large and small corner rounder on some of the pocket photo mats and journaling cards - again, your choice.

INKING - once I have cut out and corner rounded all the printed pages, cards and embellishments, I use two or more colors of Ranger Distress Oxide inks by Tim Holtz to accent the edges. For this album, I used three colors - Iced Spruce, Peeled Paint and Fired Brick.  That might sound excessive and silly - BUT - by using three different colors, I am able to maneuver the inks in various shades. Use a separate ink applicator for each color.  DO NOT SATURATE your sponge applicators with ink, you only need to skim the surface to create a shade to match your papers, its easier to pick up & add more ink if you need rather than try to remove after applying.  Start with the Iced Spruce, apply completely around the edges, then add the other colors where desired - note the different shades on the page photographs.
You will also ink a 10" piece of the 2" wide heavy lace using small sponges/Q-tips to apply pastel shade of red on the flowers, green on scallops and spruce on the straight edge - less is more!

Ink 3 sheets of matt finish reinforcements - do not use the glossy ones as they will not hold the ink - "pounce" the ink applicator on to create a spotty look, some have more spruce, green, or red, set all inked pieces aside to dry. 

COVERING the ALBUM - I am going to share a neat trick with you on how to "cover" a premade album with only a few pieces of paper.  Since this book is already made of heavy chipboard, kraft paper and a fabric spine, there is no need to completely recover, in fact, I painted part of it with acrylic craft paint.  To determine what paint color is best to use, I smeared daub's of color on the INSIDE BACK which will be covered later, allowed to dry, then matched it to the paper color (see below).  When the right color is determined, paint the fabric spine and corners, inside and out and around the metal rings - be sure to paint over the fabric edges and onto the kraft paper so there will be no gaps in the colors later - set aside to dry.


Cut Evergreen Artisan Cardstock paper strips 1" wide x ??? for the album edges (photo below) - noted above that each album is measured individually.  Now flip the strips over and apply 1" ScorTape to back:

Center each strip - one at a time - on EDGE of album to hold in place, trim corners and turn down onto the album, then smooth in place on front and back covers.  This will effectively cover the album edges and your printed papers will cover the rest.  NOTE - the painted corners insure color in case trimming is not exact, plus you can always add a bit more paint if needed.

Now you will center up add the beautiful cut, corner rounded, inked, printed papers on the OUTSIDE COVER ONLY using Scor Tape and/or Art Glitter Glue to secure:

Next we will add the inked lace - you can use either ScorTape or hot glue to secure in place - NOTE - the lace hangs over top and bottom edges until secure/dry, then it is wrapped to the back (inside cover) and again ScorTape or hot glued into place.  Do not glue on the red satin ribbon - it makes spots - DO use 1/2" ScorTape on the back, peel and place over the lace straight edge (as shown), wrap to the inside of the album and smooth down.  I add a piece of tape over the lace & ribbon raw edges.

Before adding the inside cover papers, you must add the ribbon ties on the INSIDE front and back - cut two 12" pieces of 1" wide double faced red satin ribbon, then a piece of 1" ScorTape to place just inside center of covered edge (see photo below). Secure a ribbon end to ScorTape and tape over the raw edge.  Now glue and/or ScorTape the inside cover and spine papers in place, voila, you are ready to embellish the cover - fun time!

COVER EMBELLISHMENT - I use my scrap stash of a paper collection to create additional embellishments for the covers and pages of a album - in this case, we saved a beautiful tree with roses and several extra big beautiful roses.  I cut "around" the tree image, applied to adhesive backed foam sheet - THEN fussy cut around the details.  For the image booklet, I found a smaller version of the same on the matching chipboard sticker sheet (photo below) and enlarged it on my color printer to fit the space - IMPORTANT NOTE - IF you enlarge or reduce a copyrighted paper image, it can be for personal use only, you cannot sell the item without express written permission from the copyright holder artist and/or publisher!  I do this only if it is staying in my family home. or a gift.  Peel backing off the tree and place on cover covering part of the lace & ribbon edge. Prima flowers used on this project, have inked edges of the white petals in red, then cut both white and red flowers apart in layers to use under the paper roses.  Leave the red buds on wire to tuck in and hot glue under the tree.  I use hot glue to place these pieces, then additional large roses and the Anna Griffin Botanical diecut greenery (see below) to fill the space as a bouquet.  The book is added with hot glue and foam squares under the pages to simulate a curled page.  Add the matching chipboard self adhesive sentiment (saying) embellishment to finish.

 Here is a side photo to show you the dimension you can add if desired:

POCKETS - Several of the pages were cut larger to "include" pockets - scored, folded, corner rounded and inked - now we need to use Glitter Glue OR 3/8" ScorTape to seal the folded edges so they can hold photo mats and journaling cards.  I did not seal the side foldout page (see photos of finished pages).
There are also some "add on" pockets that have been cut separately - on two of these I used a Anna Griffin embossing folder (one Holly and one Snowflake) plus inking to create a textured image.
Finally, there are pockets that have been diecut using a Anna Griffin Christmas Pocket Die and Christmas Decorative Edge Die.  Whatever you choose in the way of pockets, they need to be secured as follows - score the bottom and side edges 1/4", clip corners where the score lines cross, fold (shown below), then apply either 3/8" ScorTape or Glitter Glue and apply to page.  If gluing, I wait until they are dry before adding cards, just so they don't accidentally stick in the pocket.

FINISHING the PAGES: I made a chipboard guide from a page that was included in the album to line up pages and punch holes using a standard 1/4" hole punch, you could also use a Crop-A-Dial.  After all the page holes are punched, add the inked reinforcements to both the front and back to keep pages from ripping in wear-n-tear.  Additional page embellishments were made with matching stash images, cut and secured on foam squares, as well as the marching self adhesive chipboard images throughout the book.
ENVELOPE pages were made using the We-R-Memory Keepers Envelope Board, paper cut to 11" x 11" (which folds into a 6" x 8" page), one side fold was trimmed, inked, holes punched, reinforcements added - then a small card cut from preprinted paper was glued to top fold, magnet set was attached to secure, round paper embellishments (punched from scrap) were used to cover.
CORNER CARDS to hold mats are featured on several pages, these use the small preprinted cards cut out, inked and attached on one side and bottom with Glitter Glue - dry - add cards behind.
TABS for pages were preprinted, cut out, attached on page edge, second one glued to back and inked.

The following are photos of each open page set from front to back along with some closeups of "open" pages to show you magnet placement on envelopes and the fold out page:

Last but not least, don't forget to sign and date your albums for future generations!

SUPPLIES - available from Country Craft Creations
Blue Fern Studios "Vintage Christmas" paper collection and matching self adhesive chipboard pieces
Artisan Cardstock - Evergreen, Burgundy, Ivory and White Pearl
Graphic 45 - Kraft Mixed Media Album 8 1/4" x 8 3/4" x 2"
ScorTape - 3/8", 1/2", 1"
Art Glitter Glue
Prima paper flowers - white, red
2" wide heavy scalloped lace
Ranger Distress Oxide Inks - Fired Brick, Peeled Paint, Iced Spruce
Ranger Ink Applicators + sponges
Magnetic disc closures - Small

Other supplies needed:
Acrylic craft paint - color to match solid cover paper
Sponge "paint brush" - disposable
Adhesive backed foam sheet - white - approx 1/8" thick
Adhesive backed 1/4" foam squares
Paper Reinforcements - matte finish
Red Satin Ribbon, double-faced - 1/2" (10" needed) and 1" (2 feet needed)
Anna Griffin Cutting Dies - Christmas Decorative Edge; Christmas Botanical; Christmas Pockets
Die Cutting machine + appropriate plates (I use a Cuttlebug)
Decorative edge scissors - Large Scallop

Basic crafting supplies and tools needed: 12" paper trimmer, 12" score board, ruler, scissors (both regular and fussy cutting), corner rounder(s) small & large, 1/4" standard hole punch OR Crop-A-Dial, 1 1/2" circle punch, hot glue gun + glue sticks

I hope you enjoy this project, please do not hesitate to contact me (email on side) with any additional questions you might have - most of all, enjoy the process, experiment, learn new techniques and have fun!

November 18, 2017

Winter Meadow Album CCC Design Team Project

Hello everyone, the holiday season is upon us and its time to use those free moments to prepare some handmade gifts for our family and friends.  Tamra Kilgore-Merrill recently posted a desk set using the delightful Photo Play "Winter Meadow" collection, I am pleased to give you accompanying 8"x 8" album with matching embellishments and stamps.  This would be charming to use during the holidays as well as new year ski trips or outdoor activities - enjoy!

Papers used in this album include sixteen 12x12 double-sided heavyweight printed sheets, eight 12x12 color matched solid core heavyweight sheets (CCC Artisan Cardstock in Red), four 12x12 journaling/tag sheets (CCC Artisan Cardstock in Linen) and two 12x12 heavyweight chipboard pieces for covers and spine.  A complete supply list is at the end of the instructions.

Cover Paper Cuts: For the album outside front and back, choose a favorite printed paper in the collection (I chose the forest) and trim to 8"x 8" for cover and matching 1 1/4"x 8" for outside spine.  For the back, I always choose a darker print I won't use as much.  I write on the BACK of these pieces in pencil and set aside BEFORE cutting any other printed papers.  NOTE - there are several 12x12 papers printed with cards, sections and panels, at least one piece should be cut accordingly and used as pocket inserts and embellishments.
Papers covering the chipboard are RED Artisan Cardstock Paper - two pieces 9 1/2"x 8 3/4" (front & back), one 9 1/2"x 3 1/4" (outside spine), one 8 1/4"x 2 1/2" (inside spine) and two 8"x 8" for inside front and back.  Each of the larger outside pieces give you a 1/2" wrap around the chipboard base.  

Pages Paper Cuts: There are 10 pages cut from the 12x12 paper sheets and sized to be finished 8"x 8".  Many but not all pages are configured to fold out, up or down to reveal additional space for photos & journaling - this means you would cut a fold out page 12" wide and 8" high - score at 4" on either right or left side to fold into the book.  Likewise, you would cut a fold up or down page 8" wide and 12" high, score either top or bottom and fold into the book.  NOTE - align and cut these pages (all page photos are shown below) to properly show the print images.  TRIM any folds on pages 1/2" on the spine side so they more easily turn in the album (see photo below - corner round.
Save all of the 4" pieces you cut away from the paper sheets to use for pockets, tags, journal cards.  
Page Pockets are 6 1/2"x 4", scored 1/4" on three sides, border punched, corner trimmed at bottom, folded toward back to be glued onto page, then inked. Journal/Photo cards are printed paper scraps 4"x 5 1/2" plus Linen artisan cardstock 3 1/2"x 5", all pieces corner rounded & inked.  The nine long Spine Pieces are 8"x 1" scored at 1/2" down center and 3/8" ScorTape applied to both sides at the outer edge (not on the fold) as shown below.

Inking the Papers: once I have cut and all of my pages, paper embellishments, journaling/photo mats, I border punch and corner round where desired and ink all with a coordinating shade of Ranger Distress Oxides and sponge applicator, in this case, Fired Brick.
Chipboard Cuts: the album base is two heavyweight chipboard pieces at 8 1/4"x 8 1/4" and one at 8 1/4"x 1 1/2".  Always cut to add at least 1/4" all around the finished page size.

Making the cover:  
1.  Adhere the cover/spine chipboard pieces to red artisan cardstock ( two 8 1/4" x 8 1/4" and one 9 1/2"x 3 1/4" pieces) using 1" Scor Tape around the outside edges on one side, making sure the inside left & right of the larger pieces lines up with the edges as shown. (Tape does not show in this photo but has been applied and flipped over to adhere to cardstock.)  
2.  Apply 1" ScorTape around the outside of spine chipboard piece and trim off access as shown (or it will show up on the outside of the album).

3.  Press cover and back piece onto spine piece LEAVING 1/8" margin on each side - as shown.
4.  Apply 1" ScorTape to the other side of the two large chipboard pieces and 3/8" ScorTape around the edges of the center spine chipboard as shown.
5.  Around the cover/back cardstock pieces, add 3/8" ScorTape on edges of artisan cardstock, peel off backing and secure corners by turning them down at a right angle onto the chipboard 
NOTE - do not add tape to the center spine piece OR bend its edges over top and bottom at this point.
6.  Gently begin to bend the artisan cardstock, smoothly over and onto the chipboard cover/back to secure - use a bone folder to rub into place as photo shows.

7.  Position and glue your second red artisan cardstock spine piece (8 1/4"x 2 1/2") with Art Glitter Glue - NOTE - this piece only goes to the top and bottom edges of the chipboard spine.  Use a bone folder to gently press paper into the 1/8" space between spine and covers, then smooth the flat edges down to the chipboard as shown.  This "gully" creates the turn space needed for covers to close.  Apply more glue to the top and bottom remaining cardstock n"flaps" and gently bend & shape them over and into the spine area as shown to complete the outside covering.

8.  The finished album base should look like this (see below), 1/2 of a large magnet closure with ScorTape is shown here, I actually added a second one closer to the right hand edge before gluing on closure tab. Tab Paper Cuts: red cardstock strip 4 1/2"x 2" and oval 3"x 2 1/4" mat paper 4 1/2"x 1 5/8" on strip and 2"x 2 3/4" on oval, then glue tab in center back of album base - all with Art Glitter Glue.  Do not glue pattern paper on front or back of album until the magnets and closure tab are in place and set!  

Building the Pages - NOTE - the page shown above has the trimmed 1/2" on the "spine side" so the page will turn easily when spine piece is added.  Also, each page has been corner rounded and inked on the OUTSIDE EDGE, even if folded, as shown.
Putting the pages together is done using the spine strips that you added 3/8" ScorTape to on the edge (shown above).  Peel backing off a strip - one side at a time - adhere to side of page that will be at the center spine, THEN peel backing off the other side of the same spine strip and add another page.  Continue this process until you have secured all pages together - aligning them as you go to keep the front edges straight.  The "back" of the pages (by the spine) may not always be perfect, but, this will
be covered up later as shown in photos below.  Ink the stack of pages again on the back edge.

Securing Pages into the Album Base:
1.  Cut, border punch and ink two scrap strips 4"x 8" as shown below, then glue approx. 1/2" from the edge of the border punch onto the front page of the book and the other on the back page of the book - do NOT glue them together.

2.  After the glue sets, they should look like the photo below.  Now, turn out the back edges to add 1" ScorTape.   

3.  Mark the inside cover of the book with a pencil line at 6 1/4" then glue in the border punched sheet holding the pages, up to the red cardstock edge - DO NOT go over the edge or the book will be too tight and hard to close, might even tear - see photo below.  To secure until glue has set, use small lightweight chipboard pieces and binder clips to hold in place - NOTE - chipboard pieces keep the binder clips from making indentations on the album covers.

4.  Allow the glue to set up.  Photo shows binder clips on both sides of covers and give you a good indication of the space needed to turn the pages.

5.  Glue the two 8"x 8" red artisan cardstock papers into the inside front and back covers.
6.  Photo on right shows what your album should look like from the top down - let it rest and dry.

Stamping and Embellishing the Cover:
This collection has a matching clear stamp and die set - that means, you stamp the image then you cut around it (using a die cutting machine such as Cuttlebug) with the provided dies.  TIP - with clear stamps, especially new ones, it is best to use a silicone eraser to "buff" up the stamp, the ink will apply smoothly and not puddle.  I used Fired Brick ink on these stamps for the trees on the front cover - simply lay the cover out flat (over the edge of a counter is good) and apply the trees in a random pattern to simulate the forest (see photo) - don't forget to add one or two to the spine to match.  I also randomly stamped little red snowflakes (so they would show up against the light background), again, add a few to the side spine.


For the 3D animals on the front cover, I used matching collection stickers and applied them to a piece of adhesive backed foam, cut them out then trimmed them in detail, peeled off the backing paper and stuck them in place around the stamped trees (see photo above).  I used all animals just because it is a forest scene.  Add Stickels glitter glue to the ornaments on trees, including the tab and spine and a bit of Star Dust to center of snowflakes and among the trees to simulate snow - it doesn't show up in photos, but it is beautiful when done!

I made envelopes for the inside front and back of the album using a We R Memories envelope maker, then inked the edges all around. Add small magnet sets for closure and cover the outside magnet with matching collection sticker and glue in place.  Insert photo/journal mats, cards or keepsakes.

Here are all the pages in order, front to back in the album.  Heavier inking and more embellishments both stamps and stickers can be added to your hearts content.  If you have leftovers, make holiday cards or tags for gifts, most of all, have fun with it & enjoy!

SUPPLIES - most available from Country Craft Creations
Photo Play "Winter Meadow: paper collection, sticker sheet, matching clear stamps & dies
CCC Artisan Cardstock - Red, Linen
Heavyweight Chipboard
ScorTape - 3/8" and 1"
CCC Art Glitter Glue
Magnetic disc closures - Large
Adhesive backed foam sheet - white
Ranger Stickles (glitter glue), Christmas Red, Holiday Green, Patina and Star Dust
Ranger Distress Oxide Ink - Fired Brick

Other basic crafting tools & supplies needed - pencil, ruler, bone folder, silicone eraser, block/holder for clear stamps, paper trimmer, score board, scissors, corner rounder, ink applicator + sponges, die cutting machine/plates (Cuttlebug).