A Little Late…

But I thought I’d share what I made for the fiancé last week on Valentine’s Day.  This was the first thing I’ve ever made for him except maybe some gift tags to go along with past presents.  He wasn’t expecting anything for Valentine’s Day from me which made the surprise present even better 🙂  I decided to make a standing desktop book with each page listing a different reason why he’s wonderful.  He can flip through the book week by week to remind himself of his good qualities.



I honestly don’t really like the cover too much, but I had to go with it since it was already Valentine’s Day when I finished the project (hopeless procrastinator here…).



Here’s one of the pages in the book.  There are about 20 pages total.  I decorated both the front and back of each page.  I got to use up a lot of random leftover supplies I had lying around.  I was almost done with the Dear Lizzy “Polka Dot Party” and Amy Tangerine “Yes, Please” die cut packets by the end of this project.

BackI didn’t follow any tutorials when making this album, even though I probably should have…The book stands a little wonky once you near the last few pages.  If I ever try this design again, I’ll definitely limit to about 10 pages so it can stand properly.  I just punched some holes at the top of each page and tied them together with twine to hold the album together.  I also used two layers of chipboard for the foundation so it’s sturdier.


Mini Book: The Final Pages

I had another short break from crafting due to a trip to Los Angeles followed by a few days in Las Vegas.  I mostly grew up in LA.  It’s where I met my fiancé and also where we will be having our wedding later this year; hence, the reason for our trip (dessert and caterer tastings and also flowers).  To be honest, I absolutely despise wedding planning.  I know this is not normal!  It’s just too many little details and so much money involved.  Thank goodness I have a planner.  She’s an absolute lifesaver with her budget planning, scheduling, and endless ideas.

Las Vegas was a little reunion with my friends back in San Francisco.  It’s hard to believe I haven’t seen them since I moved in November.  Since I’m not much of a phone person and rarely do social media, it was amazing catching up with everyone again.  I had so much fun dancing, gambling, and eating.  The Bacchanal buffet in Caesar’s Palace is superb by the way.  The only thing I lacked the entire trip was sleep!

Now, back to the crafty side of things….Here’s the last installment of the mini album I was making for my friend.  I was able to complete everything on time although it was a rush to the finish, and she was thrilled to receive it  🙂

Page 10

The page on the right has a pull-out card with journaling.  The photos of us are from a school event promoting construction of a new campus.  It was fun putting on the orange vests and playing with caution tape for the first time!

Page 11

The next couple of pages have our graduation photos.  We basically took my camera and tripod and did crazy things all over the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  The scenery there is absolutely stunning.  My future MIL actually wanted my fiancé and I to take our engagement photos there, but we opted for more sun in southern California.

Back Cover

Here’s the last page and the back cover.  I wanted to highlight my friend at the end, so there’s just a picture of her in cap and gown within a polaroid frame from Maggie Holmes “Flea Market” chipboard sticker sheet.  Links to the other pages in this mini book if you’d like to see them!

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Mini Books: Part Three

I stayed up until 1 am last night trying to finish this mini album.  The good news:  it’s almost done!  I just have 3 pages and the back cover left to work on.  Here’s what I have so far….

Page 6

The left page is about our little adventure to a local theatre to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Only one person in our group has ever seen the movie/stage show before, and she did not warn us about what to expect!  It was a super fun experience with the audience being quite animated.  I loved the confetti throwing, but the show is definitely not for the faint of heart!

Page 7

It was an 80s themed night hence the bright neon getups.  I used watercolor to paint in the cityscape on the right-hand page as well as the “live laugh love” words above the photo.

Page 8

I put a pre-made Studio Calico pocket behind the photo and placed a tag with journaling within the pocket.  On the right, the “HIGH FIVE!” is from the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Die Cut Card set.  I added some stickers, washi tape, and transparent stars to finish the page.

Page 9

I am so in love with the new October Afternoon Daily Flash Story Book Alphas.  I was very sad when I noticed they weren’t coming out with any new Mini Market alphas but the sadness soon turned into elation when I saw just how awesome the replacements were!  I used the “Meringue” Alphas on both pages–the block letters used for the date on the left page and the script font on the right page.  Yup, both types come in the package.  How awesome is that?!?

Mini Books: Part Two

I managed to finish a few more pages in the mini album today.  I’m about a quarter of the way done with just a couple of more days to finish everything…

Page 4

Sorry about the angle of the photo!  I didn’t realize my iPhone wasn’t directly over the pages until I went to crop/edit the photos.  It’s too dark to retake the pictures now, but I think you get the gist.  There’s a combination of DIY and Glitter Thickers on the left page.  I used aqua metallic Gelatos (Faber-Castell) mixed with water to add color to the white DIY Thickers (Studio Calico).  The same Gelatos were used to paint over the wood veneer flowers (Citrus Twist Kit exclusive) on the right-hand page.

Page 5

Unfortunately, my StazOn ink pad is still more than a bit dry and I used it to stamp on the hexagon-shaped wood veneers anyways.  These wood veneers are also a Citrus Twist Kit exclusive.  The images are legible but definitely faded.  I really need to buy a re-inker!  I hand-stitched a frame around the photo with baker’s twine to add texture.

LPS Top 3 Badge

On a side note, I just discovered my layout was chosen as a Top 3 for the Life. Paper. Scrapbook. December Sketch Challenge 🙂  You can find the layout here.  Thanks for looking!  And now back to hustling more mini book pages!

Mini Books: Part One

I have a couple more pages from the mini book I’ve been making to share today 🙂

Page 2

I just purchased one of Amy Tangerine’s Embroidery Stencil Kits from her Cut & Paste line, and I used it for the first time today.  I’ve only used embroidery floss a couple of times prior, so it got a bit tangled as I was trying to separate the threads.  I searched YouTube and found that the trick is pull out one strand at a time.  Now it’s easy peasy 🙂  I used the stencil to embroider a chevron design on top of the photo on the left-hand page–such a simple way to fill up that white space and add texture!  My StazOn black ink pad is getting a bit dry so the “Perfect” arrow stamp on the Simple Stories transparency covering the photo didn’t stamp too well, but I’m okay with it.

Page 3

I love the design on the half circle sheet that came in the Daybook!  I outlined the design with a black journaling pen to make it pop out more.  I have A LOT more pages to complete and just a couple of more days to work on it!  I don’t think I’ve ever felt this rushed in making a project.  Someone recently told me that 80% of a person’s thoughts are negative.  I think people tend to focus more on the negative things around them because they require more attention, but I’ll try to think positive in this situation and get this project done!

Mini Books: The Cover

Altering the cover of mini albums is one of my favorite things to do.  I love how little things here and there can completely change the look of a pre-made album.  With this particular mini book, I decided to first use Sakura Souffle pens to color in the camera image.  I then added the wood veneer asterisk at the center of the camera lens.  Even with the added color and texture, the image still looked a bit flat so I decided to do a little hand stitching with the last of my orange thread.  Then came the titling and colorful polka dots with Amy Tangerine stickers from the Yes, Please line.  I LOVE those stickers because they’re slightly transparent and are more forgiving in terms of repositioning.  Here’s the final result:


I actually had a really tough time with the dark aqua Souffle pen–it just would not work for the life of me even though there was plenty of ink left!  I noticed the ball at the tip of the pen wasn’t rolling anymore.  My fiancé came to the rescue and somehow popped out the ball tip using a hammer, needle, and wrench.  Don’t ask me how….. Afterwards, I tapped the itsy bitsy ball back into the tip of the pen and, voila, it started working again!  So, if any of you out there have gel pens that stop working, here’s one more thing you can try before throwing your pen out.  For those who are unfamiliar with the Souffle pens, they dry opaque and are legible on dark surfaces.  The appearance has a slightly chalky look which is unlike any other gel pen I’ve tried.  The pens actually work better now than when I first bought them 3-4 years ago (for the most part…).  Go figure!

After finishing the cover, I went ahead and worked on its back side using patterned papers from Studio Calico’s Here + There 6×6 pad.  The wood veneer arrows are from the Citrus Twist Main December Kit.  Both the letter stickers are from Amy Tangerine–the red corrugated Thickers are quite old while the mini block letters are from last season’s Cut & Paste line.  The blue striped “ribbon” lining the top and bottom of the title block is actually a drawstring I took out of an old shirt I got rid of a while back.  I love the contrast in color and texture it provides.

Page 1

Because the left side is so busy, I decided to keep the right-hand side simpler.  The chipboard star and arrow stickers are from Amy Tangerine’s Cut & Paste Chipboard Accents.  The letter stickers are from the same pack as those I used on the cover.  The ribboned paper clip is an exclusive from a previous Citrus Twist Main Kit.  After the photo was taken, I added more of the gray chevron washi tape across the top edge of the pocket.  I also added journaling on the pull-out paper with the paper clip attached.   Thanks for looking 🙂

Mini Books: Getting Started

I’ve had a little break from crafting lately due to a short 3-day trip to San Antonio a few days ago and then 4 days of work training.  San Antonio was beautiful, and I’ll be sure to share photos once I get them on some layouts.  Just to recap, my fiancé and I visited a couple of the Spanish missions, cruised and dined at the River Walk, explored the largest natural cavern in Texas, relived the Battle of the Alamo, and shopped the San Marcos outlets before heading home.  It was an eventful (and surprisingly cold!) trip.  The day after we got home, I started training for work.  I’ve haven’t worked since the beginning of October, and I have absolutely no endurance for a 9-5 schedule anymore!  I literally dropped onto bed right when I got home every day.  I definitely need to build up my stamina again…..

Anyhow, here I am back with another crafty venture.  I need to start and finish a mini book for a friend’s birthday gift.  Her birthday is next week, so I’ll need to ship it out soon!  I’ve made a couple of mini books every year since I started scrapbooking in 2012.  I don’t make any mini albums for myself because I like uniformity, so I’ve made the decision to only keep 12×12 albums in my home.  However, I love mini albums because they give me a break from the 12×12 format and they make great gifts.   I’ve only had one recipient that didn’t appreciate the book I made for them, but that story’s for another day!

My first step in making a mini book is to think of the recipient’s personality and match it with a paper line.  It could be the theme of the paper line that makes you think of the person, the colors of the collection, or simply the mood it evokes.  For this specific person, I chose the Here + There collection from Studio Calico because of its dark and bold colors and universal motifs.  The album I chose is an Amy Tangerine Daybook from her Yes, Please collection I already had on hand.

Here & There


Since the paper and album are from different companies, they are not going to match perfectly in color nor style.  However, I like the contrast of bold and bright colors to give visual interest.  Also, I can easily cover any of the Daybook pages completely with patterned paper/cardstock if needed.

After choosing the photos I want to use in the album, the first thing I do is take the album completely apart by removing the wire spiral.  There are several reasons I do this.  For one, I can now rearrange the Daybook papers in any order I like.  Second, it’s a lot easier to work on individual sheets separated from the album than those constricted by the wire spiral.  Lastly, I typically need to switch out the original wire spiral to one with a larger diameter since I tend to add bulk with embellishments.


After rearranging the papers, I use sticky notes to label each of the pages with the photo I’m planning to use on that page.  This streamlines the process down the road:  I am now certain I have enough pages dedicated to all the photos I want to use, and I know where each of the photos are going to go.

Labeled Pages

The only preparation that’s left is to choose the fun stuff (aka embellishments)!  I go through my embellishment stash and take out anything I think might go well with the theme of the album.  I also take out older embellishments I want to use up or things that remind me of the person I’m giving the album to.  By the end of the search, I typically have 20-30 embellishment packs picked out including stickers, badges, brads, etc.  I set these goodies aside in a small box I leave on my desk until the album is done.

Embellishment Box

In addition, I’ll choose one or two washi tapes that I will use in small doses throughout the album.  90% of the embellishing will come from just this box.  The only things I’ll go outside the box for are smaller embellishments I keep in a plastic container, 12×12 sticker sheets that won’t fit in this box, and stamps.  By using the same washi tapes and embellishments, the album will have a sense of cohesiveness.  This is also reinforced by sticking with one paper line throughout the album.  I might add papers from other lines onto the pages, but they will only come from my scraps and only be used to support the Here + There papers.  At the same time, though, I hope to have a lot of variety from page to page to give the album interest since I’ve set aside plenty of embellishments to choose from.

That’s all for today!  Be sure to tune in the next few days if you want to follow my progress on this mini book adventure 🙂