A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Hinged ring mini book #01

Last December Cal did a tutorial in the FB Paper, Scissors, Story group for a wee little mini book that I thought would be perfect for some pictures of the cats. It was really quick and easy to make, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I ended up making two as I loved the design so much. This is the first one.

The opening should be on the other side, but guess who managed to stick the cover paper upside down. It works fine though. It’s all just a bit back to front.

The papers and die cuts are from a paper pad that I bought years ago, before we’d even got the cats. I saw it and knew I would need it at some point. It’s by Deja Views. I had a sheet of rub-ons that matched so I did some of those onto plain white card and cut them out to make more die cuts. The teeny little cats marching all over the place are die cut. I got the cutest little die from The Scrap Lab and it’s perfect for tiny projects like this.

This is what you see when you open it out. There are six cards hanging from the rings and a pocket on the right, (which should be on the left LOL), which has another card in it, with more kitty photos.

And with the cards folded up to see beneath them. These are the fronts of the six cards. I have so many photos of my kitties that it was hard to choose just a few but I had fun doing it. I tried to pick ones that showed their personalities. I’ll post pics of the other book in a few weeks. That one has cat photos in it too, but I used mostly kitten photos as I have so many cute ones.


Small square mini book

This is another mini book from a tutorial by Cal Summers in the FaceBook group Paper Scissors Story. It’s the most complicated one I’ve done so far, but the instructions were so clear that it was easy to make, just a little fiddly in places. (I came close to glueing my sleeve to the front cover at one point. I should not be allowed to play with double-sided tape.)

I used papers by Scrapmir, which is a brand that I hadn’t come across before. The example for the class used Peaches and Cream, which is very pretty but I had my eye on the Blue and Blush collection, which was terrific value as it included die cuts, envelopes, chipboard and frames. Lots to play with, plus some of the papers and embellishments had gold on them. I added some gold mirror card and some G45 flowers, also from Scraplab, and I was all set.

The example had a lovely shaker pocket on the front, which I was looking forward to doing. It was square but once I’d seen the lovely round frame in the pack, I needed to do a round one. Possibly not my brightest idea. All I’m saying is that cutting circles in two pieces of 2000 micron chipboard is not as easy as doing straight lines. I’m really chuffed with the result though.

I used one of the round die cuts under the shaker pocket and have three different colours of sequins in there, which Cal matched up for me. I made a bouquet of the G45 flowers, tied it with ribbon from my stash and added a few sequins round the bouquet. (they’re just peeking out to add a bit of shimmer.)

The back and spine have patterned paper on that matches the paper on the front. It’s matted on black and then gold.

Inside are four pages held in by hidden hinges. There are two styles of page. The A page has flaps and pockets on both sides. The B page has a belly band holding a folded piece of card with pockets, and then stacked pockets on the other side. I laid mine out as A B B A. The inside covers have a flap and pockets too.

These look quite plain as I haven’t decorated them yet. I’m going to do that as I add the photos, which will be done monthly, next year. We’ve rejoined the National Trust and intend to visit at least one place per month and this mini book will be a record of that.

I’ll show you a couple of the pages now, but I’ll probably post the finished pages through 2020.

I loved making this one and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I’m learning loads by following the tutorials and can’t wait to do the next one.



Loaded pocket minibook

This was another tutorial by Cal Summers, on the FaceBook group Paper Scissors Story, and I couldn’t resist it. This one is a very simple construction compared to the mini books that I’ve been making, but still very clever how it’s made. Mini books have really evolved since I used to make them ten years or so ago.

The tutorial used Christmas papers and this would make a smashing Christmas card for someone special. I wanted to make a sort of thank you card though, for a friend who has been very supportive over the years.

I used Graphic 45 again, which is fast becoming a favourite brand, especially for this type of project. The collection is Imagine and is a bit steampunky with balloons and clocks and butterflies. It’s very pretty and has some lovely sayings in with it. Cal has some gorgeous Graphic 45 collections at Scrap lab.

This is the front with lots of layered fussy-cut elements. It opens up to reveal this. There are a couple of pockets which are stuffed with various elements, such as tags, a concertina book and a card.

It didn’t take long to make and I really enjoyed the process. Fussy cutting is very soothing, I find.



Basic beginners mini book

This is another mini book from a tutorial by Cal Summers in the FaceBook group Paper Scissors Story. It’s actually the first one that I made but as it was a birthday present for a friend, I’ve not been able to post it until now.

My friend has a couple of dogs plus she fosters cats for Furbabies cat rescue, and I thought it might be nice for her to have a memento of the cats that she’s fostered as well as some pics of her dogs. I used some very old SEI paper plus die cut cats and some pet-themed shapes cut with the Silhouette. I also used a couple of stamp sets, one cat themed and one for journalling. Apart from a few ribbons and beads, that’s all that I used to embellish it.

I had a few photos of the cats so I added those and there are a few pages left bare for cats she might foster in the future.

This is a couple of photos of the book before adding embellishments and photos. There are pockets, and tags that pull out and flaps that open out so lots of places to put photos.

This is the front cover once embellished. The title is some chipboard from my stash that I painted. The paw prints are done on the Silhouette.

The spine, with a charm that I made from some beads in my stash. The inside covers open out and I made simple mini books to go inside. There’s one for each of her dogs. And these are some of the inside pages, with some of the flaps/tags showing.

First there’s Esme. Next is Misty. This is Milly. And Delilah. And finally Dermot. I loved making this as most of the techniques were completely new to me but the tutorial was very easy to follow. Best of all, my friend liked it 🙂


Foldover mini book

I do love crafting and love it when I come across something different to try. This time it’s mini books. I’ve made mini books in the past, but only very simple ones. This time I’ve found a FaceBook group with brilliant tutorials for really complex-looking books. The group is run by Cal Summers, who does the tutorials, and is called Paper Scissors Story. Everyone in the group is so friendly, supportive and talented. I’ve made a couple of mini books so far, one of which was very simply decorated and this one where I’ve used the most delicious papers from Graphic 45. The collection is Lost in Paradise which was perfect as I wanted to use it for some of my favourite photos from Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safari. Cal also runs an online store – Scraplab – and she got some of the collection in for me as I’d fallen in love with it. She has a lot of Graphic 45 in her store as well as lots of other goodies and the customer service is brilliant.

This is the front of my book. I used a photo of one of the Safari signs with some fussy-cut embellishments. This is the back. I printed out strips with Jambo and Kwaherini on for the front and back covers. It’s what they say at the start and end of the Safari. I also printed the names of the animals for inside the book.

When you open it, this is what you see. There is a pocket on each side with two tags in. I’ve used the tags for general Safari photos and used two very appropriate pieces from the cut apart paper to sit on top of the pockets.

A pic of the pockets with tags partly out. The pocket pages open out to reveal this. More pocket pages on the two inside sections. The pockets are tiered and I loved how they were constructed. This is them with the tags partly out. On the outer section are waterfall pages. Again, I loved how they were constructed. It was so simple but it looks great.

This is with the waterfalls opened out. A few of my pages are slightly wonky where I haven’t scored and folded the card accurately enough but I was getting better at that as I worked. It’s not bad enough to be a problem so I’m really happy with this book. It’s a lovely reminder of one of my favourite places on the planet and I really enjoyed making it.


September challenge – week 4

So, the September challenge at Scraptastic inspiration was to do at least two layouts per week using the various prompts. There was a prompt for each day and I thought why not do EVERY prompt and do one layout each day of the month. Amazingly enough I managed to keep up and did every prompt. Thank you to JuXcreates for the prompts.

22. An old photo with frames. I dug out some old plain chipboard frames, painted them and stamped on a couple of them. I have a lot of plain chipboard so this prompt was handy to get me using some. 23. Cut file. Photo is from Disney 2010. There are several pics from that Halloween party to be scrapped so I didn’t need to add any journalling etc to this one.
24. Hand stitching. I had the background ready done as I’d been playing with my new stencils so I just added photos and used an old Bazzill template for the stitched flower. I have loads of colours of threads, thanks to the cross stitching, so found five different shades to use. 25. Ribbon. I was really lacking inspiration for this, which is worrying as I have so much ribbon from when I used it a lot. Must find new ways to use it. 26. Paper weaving. I had fun with this and used up lots of paper scraps. 27. Bling and dots. That blingy stuff is over a decade old. I loved it when I bought it and then never used it. I quite like it on this layout.28. Washi tape (no patt paper). I really wanted to add some patterned paper to this, but I do quite like the effect of all the washi tape.

Plus the last couple of days of September.

29. Tags. This used up almost all the last of the Basic Grey Oh Baby! papers and tags. I loved when BG included tags with each collection pack. 30. Stamps. This is all Wildflower and Honey. I think it’s my favourite collection at the moment, especially the stamp and die set. The background is another one that I made before when I was playing with stencils.
And that’s the lot. I’m so chuffed that I managed to keep up with doing one layout per day for September. I also joined another FB group for making mini books and have almost completed my first one.

I’ve been struggling a lot with mental health over the past few months and crafting has been one of the things to really help. Crafting doesn’t judge. It just is and it gives me something to focus on. Also, crafting people, whether via blogs, or in FB groups do tend to be kind and supportive and encouraging, whether they know you or not. A little kindness goes a very long way when you’re feeling down.

Thanks for letting me share x



Baltic scrapping #11

I’ve been really getting a crack on with the Baltic album and have several more layouts completed. The next three are from our adventure on the St. Petersburg metro. It was a brilliant experience and fun to scrap.

I have quite a lot of travel-themed scrapbooking collections and a couple of them had metro embellishments, which I’ve been carefully hoarding ready for these layouts. I love it when a plan comes together 🙂

First then is the metro station we started at. Next is the platform and the long, long escalator, and journalling about the experience in general. Last is the station we ended up at. From the Metro, we made our way to The Hermitage State Museum. I had hundreds of photos from here and it was so hard to narrow it down. In the end, I did three fairly general layouts and used divided page protectors for more photos and journalling.

I started with a layout describing our journey to and into The Hermitage and first sight of the entrance hall. Next I journalled about some of the paintings that we saw, with photos of my favourites. Shame I had to take an angled photo of the Da Vinci, but it was behind glass so I was trying to avoid reflections.

Next are the divided page protectors. And finally, one talking about the other artwork we saw there, especially the sculptures, and how awestruck I was by how close I was standing to the Michelangelo. I’m still trying to keep these layouts fairly plain and as flat as possible so that they will all fit into their albums. If I start layering up too much, or using chipboard stickers on too many of them, I’ll end up having to get another album. Once I’ve finished, I might do a few ‘highlights’ layouts for my 2018 album, where I can play with them a bit more.