I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Thursday 1 February 2018

Glimpses of Springtime

Hello all!  How did it get to be February already?!  I'm about to set off for another work stint in New York shortly, and it's been all go through January, so apologies for my absence in Craftyblogland.  As you now know, if you saw my latest stamp launch just a couple of days ago (catch up with the new word stamps here at PaperArtsy), I've been a bit busy.  I'm so delighted you like the look of the new words, and you've got another chance to see some of them in action right now.

We are starting a new month, so it's time for a new challenge at Mini Album Makers.  I've created a tiny album using the paper envelopes you sometimes get with herbal teabags.  (It's a photo-heavy post, so grab some tea or coffee, or something stronger, and enjoy the ride.)

I found myself in the blue-green zone, as often happens to me in January/February... seeking some brighter colours amidst the winter gloom.

This mini album is intended to give us all a tiny taste of the spring which will be along soon, we hope.  

I put the envelopes together using the same method as for my Wood Look Yule Book.

It's all to do with how you fold the flap back on itself to create your pages, but do check out that post for more details.

Originally, I'd planned this tiny album as my Mini Marvel for the Vintage Journey challenge last November, but I ended up going a different way with my Mini Marvels.

That's why there's a photo proving how small these teabag papers are though!

I lightly gesso'd all the inner pages, but left some of the printed text showing through in places, before spritzing with Distress Spray.

It's all entirely random, but just look at that accidental flower cluster on the left hand side of this page spread!

I added a piece of embossed card as my cover, gluing it to the outermost envelope pages, and gave that a spritz of the same Broken China spray.

Next step was some stamping on those internal pages.  I gathered various grasses and leafy stems and stamped in Olive and Leaf Green Archival inks.

I knew I wanted to use my new Spring Edition word stamps but couldn't decide what colour they should be stamped in.

I tried out a couple of stampings, and my favourite was stamping in Leaf Green and adding some light turquoise embossing powder over the top.

I didn't get complete coverage with the powder the first time because I was slow getting it onto the ink.  But I loved the effect, so I deliberately dabbed away some powder before heating the next quotes.

Some butterfly tissue tape wraps its way around the covers to give a little more springtime detail, and then the album sat there for a while as I decided what else might go on the pages.

In the end I kept it pretty simple with some Paper Dolls (all in the smallest sizes), some Design Tape and the quotes.  Just to vary it a little, a couple of the pages have Clippings stickers rather than EAB words.  Why don't we just turn the pages so you can take a look?  (Remember you can click on the little photos for a larger view.)

On the first page, the two little girls join a haiku by Matsuo Basho, a seventeenth century Japanese poet.  It seemed like a pretty good match... I mean, she's practically got a butterfly going on with that huge hair ribbon, right?

Page two finds a slightly grumpy trio, clearly still suffering from the gloom of winter.  I hope the promise of springtime will cheer them up soon... though perhaps they've just got a bit too much schoolwork on to enjoy it.  The Design Tape is a bit of a giveaway!

This wonderful girl in national costume arrives on page three, complete with her strange butterfly dreams. I love how the design tape gives you wonderful vintage detailing so easily, and the Clippings stickers are so full of delightfully off-beat phrases.

On page four we have some of my all-time favourite Paper Dolls - so they get the spritzed flower background, as well as this wonderful Harriet Ann Jacobs quote full of optimism.

Turning the page again, we come to another of my favourite Paper Dolls, so he gets to go with one of my favourite poets.

Almost there now, and time for some more Clippings stickers... (I sometimes wonder if I should brave the world of video for these handmade books, but then I think that I like the photography, so I'm sticking with it for now!)  The little dancer is full of shine and sparkle.

This chap appeared in his very largest form on my jumbo Believe in Adventure tags recently, and now here he is in his tiniest version... still propping himself up on whatever happens to be handy.

And on the final page spread, another little dancer brings a touch of springtime joy along with this Byron Caldwell Smith quote.

I love how the words capture that sense of excitement of the spring light after the wintry grey gloom which is pretty much all we have at the moment.

For the finishing touches on the cover, I used a bookplate made by Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts, one of our MAM sponsors, painted white and stamped with some subtle texture.

The lilies of the valley are cut from some dried flower stems which were being thrown out by a friend.

I tucked them in behind the label stamped with my little Hero Arts alphabet stamps and glued them down.

Some fine twine provides the fastening...

... and a bit of Leaf Green ink around the edges finishes it all off.

All that meant the butterflies disappeared somewhat, but I like that they're still nicely visible around the back!

If that's not enough inspiration, you'll find lots more beautiful books, journals and albums over at Mini Album Makers, created by my fabulous team-mates.

This month's sponsor is Lindy's Stamp Gang and they're generously offering a $25 gift certificate to our lucky winner, so do come and play along.  As always, any handmade book is welcome.  Hope to see you there soon.

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
From The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

If you're around on social media, there's a Giveaway to celebrate Mini Album Makers new presence on Facebook and Instagram.  Check out all the details here at Mini Album Makers, and join in to win a fabulous giveaway prize.

And I'll be seeing you here again before you know it with some more challenge inspiration - it's all go right now!


Helen said...

what a fantastic mini book, Alison, and I love that blue/green spring colourway - can only hope the weather listens!
Hope you have a successful trip to New York and maybe see a bit more of the city whilst you're there (hint hint!!)

Valerie-Jael said...

Beautiful little Album, love the colours. Have a good journey, hugs, Valerie

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

What a delightful start to my day, I loved reading through your blog posts seeing the comparison of words, pictures alongside your creative passion. I'm so glad you choose to showcase in this way rather than video as I often miss the main plot in videos.
I love the story that unfolds within your book, a great match of words and illustrations.
Happy Days and wishing you a safe journey, Tracey xx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Ooooh Alison ! I just love this ! what wonderful use of those little bags (I will start saving them now!). Your little mini book is absolutely stunning - colours, quotes and design. Wishing you a safe journey to NY x

hazel said...

This is such a beautiful little book Alison, lovely colours and images - have a lovely trip.
xxx Hazel.

Marci said...

Aren't we all longing for Spring right now? This little album gives us a lovely glimpse. Love the quote at the end of your post, too. Good luck with New York weather.

Meggymay said...

Its a gorgeous small album and you have filled it full of interesting images of found relatives. the colours of the background are beautiful. Have a safe trip.
Yvonne xx

Patty O'Malley said...

What a fantastic use for the tea bag envelopes! The album is gorgeous and a perfect way to show those extra tiny Tim Holtz paper dolls.

Neet said...

Oh Alison, that is truly beautiful. Love the accidental flower cluster, how cool is that?
The difference from the early photographs where the pages are just having spritzes of paint on them to the finished ones is remarkable. This is an absolute treasure and I am in love with the cover.
Hugs, Neet xx

Amanda said...

Beautiful little book Alison and another fabulous showcase of your stamps. I can’t wait to play with them all again. Enjoy New York (even if it is work)
Amanda x

Dorthe said...

So wonderful a little book, Alison, with the most beautiful story told, by the kids, and your chosen words,- all about spring to come, all in the lovely blue/green tones, of early spring. Thank you for showing all the pages, what a work of fantastic art !!
Dorthe, xx

Dortesjs said...

beautiful little book huge job, great job ;O))

SewPaperPaint said...

This is so delightful Alison! I adore the gorgeous embossed cover and beautiful page collages. What fun to work on such a small platform and the binding is simple, yet perfect for this earthy album. Hugs, Autumn

Astrid Maclean said...

Well this truly is a mini marvel (even though it was not used for that challenge). Amazing that it is so small and yet contains so much wonderful detaail! The serendipity of those flowers that appeared just by themselves, is one of my favourite bits of it all. It's wonderful to see how perfect your spring time stamps are for it, and what a great way to use all those small paper dolls!

Hope you have a great time across the pond again! Safe travels!!

dvcrztb said...

So tiny! Very creative and love the inclusion of the paper dolls!

Chrissy said...

Wow, that is so tiny alison and so very pretty..love all the pages and images colours and details..


Gloria Stengel said...

Stunningly perfect in every way! I love the spritzed ink colors. So spring-like. And all the cut apart quotes and photos...just wonderful. I can tell how much fun you had making this!!

Art By Wanda said...

A gorgeous little book, Alison!!!!!!!!!!!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love this fabulous little book Alison! The colours, the size, the use of the teabag packets, the stamping, the quotes, the paper dolls and not to forget the accidental flower clusters!Enjoy your time in NY! Hugs,Chrisx

Kate Yetter said...

All these pages are beautiful! I love the colors and those paper dolls.

HappyScrappy said...

What a lovely album, so much information and so many techniques in such a small little book. love it!!!

craftytrog said...

So beautiful, I love the colours and snowdrops Alison! xx

Nancy Wethington said...

Beautiful album and with tea bag papers! Now I wish coffee came in tea bags. This is such a tiny bit of artsy fun. Love how you put this together.

Jackie PN said...

I LOVE your new stamps and I just adore this mini book!! What an absolute treasure!!
Safe travels on your way over here...and bring warm clothes! The snow keeps a coming and the temps have been down more than up!!
hugs & love,Jackie xx

Craftyfield said...

How gorgeous, Alison... and how SMALL! I'd have serious difficulties working on that size, but you managed to fill these small spaces with beautiful designs on every single page. The cover is also fantastic!

Sue said...

This is wonderful, and what a great way to use teabag wrappers. I love all the little elements too, everything fits so perfectly together xx

Evelyn Walter said...

your mini book is adorable! I love all the pages and the cover is beautiful.
xx Evelyn

Fliss said...

Wow! Jaw dropping loveliness here! The colours are a breath of Spring and all the little details you've added are so beautiful.
Many congratulations on your gorgeous new stamps (yet more for the wish list :) )
Fliss xx

Gio said...

So lovely, sweet and packed with gorgeous details! I must enter this month, this is so much inspiring!

Cocofolies said...

Such an adorable mini-book Alison!!
Sorry, I didn't see it before...
Wanted to take my time to look at it, and admire the pages too, all very beautiful.
Your quotes are just perfect for it, I love them, and the way you have embossed them partly is very lovely.
Corinne xx

rachel said...

What a stunning little book Alison - how do you manage to fit so much in? And the colour is to die for - love it! Hugs rachel x

Julia said...

This is a beautiful little book. I wish it were my little book.
The pages show of your lovely quote collection so well. This is such a treasure, I really enjoyed reading this post.
Julia x

Redanne said...

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow Alison, there is just so much to love about this fabulous mini album!! My favourite bits are the washi tape decoration (butterfly of course) and your two tone stamping - but the pages are an absolute delight too. Every single little detail is just so beautiful - LOVE it!!

I hope you enjoy your time in New York and that you get a little free time to explore again... Anne xx

Nora said...

Lovely work and explanation! Thanks for sharing! Hugs...

Inna Bronnikova said...

Wonderful book, Alison! I love such colors! Incredible stamping of the lid, wonderful collages!

A Pink said...

Oh my! What an absolute treasure, Alison. Page after page of beautiful creativity that creates the perfect way to showcase some of those lovely New stamps of yours.
A mini Marvel for sure .
hugs x

suzyb said...

Really a lovely treasure. I love the colours, the details, the paper dolls chosen. Truly lovely Alison! All the great atc's on the Paper Artsy blog too, they are all wonderful works of art!! Love your "you can gently shake the world". All of these made me smile. Great job!!! I do love your art anyway, there is nothing you've done that isn't amazing. Have a great week.

Margaret Mifsud said...

What a beautiful little book Alison! I love the spritzed pages and the two toned stamping! Your new stamps are wonderful!! Absolutely gorgeous creation! x

Brenda Brown said...

Soooo delightful and with the evenings drawing out here it reminds us Spring is round the corner - love it xxx