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...

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

A Celebration of Friendship

Hello all!  It's August, and that means a new challenge at Mini Album Makers, so here's a handmade accordion tag book to give you some inspiration to come and play along.  As always, there's lots more inspiration from my fantastic team mates to be found at the Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog.


I actually made this a couple of months ago to commemorate six decades of a very special friendship between my mother (known to many of you as Cestina - owner of Small Worlds dollshouse museum), and her German friend, Inge... hence the figure 60 on the front cover.









The simple rustic exterior opens up to reveal an accordion of summer meadow delight - inspired by the quotes gathered by Cestina for the occasion (though I already had several of them in my quotes collection) and the lavender theme of the gift she herself was preparing for Inge.










So I had my brief - including that it needed to be flat enough for me to post to her in the Czech Republic so that she could hand it over when they met up in southern Germany - and this is what I created.


Cestina had originally asked for something similar to my Inspired by a Song tag, but a) that wouldn't have been very mail-able and b) I found I couldn't whittle down the offered quotes that far.


I figured that if I made an accordion book, I could whittle down to a shortlist rather than having to pick just one to work with.  Problem solved!






So I started with six tags and some Distress Inks and Oxides, smooshing in my favourite wrinkle-free distress technique.














I included the lavender tones of Shaded Lilac and Dusty Concord along with the blues and greens which always make me happy.














I added some of Lin Brown's beautiful PaperArtsy grasses, stamped in Olive Archival, across the panorama of tags, alternating between letting the grasses take centre stage and keeping them to the lower edges.






I sought out Paper Doll pairs of friends in the right size, and started positioning them on the alternate tags, between the giant grasses.


And - hallelujah! - I was able to lay my hands on the delightfully delicate Scrapiniec lavender chipboards I knew were hiding somewhere in my stash.  The other problem with only getting into the craft room occasionally (aside from craft withdrawal symptoms) is that I start to forget where things are!





I printed the quotes in a couple of different sizes to find the one which worked best, and then cut, backed and trimmed them before giving them just a touch of inky edging.  I also inked the edges of the tags - got to have that touch of brown distressing!











For the six tags on the reverse side I went for crackle... of course.  I used the DecoArt chalk paints and crackle glaze - dark green for the lower layer and white on top.

There are some more of the PaperArtsy grasses to give a little taste of what's inside, a touch of Peeled Paint smooshing to create the impression of more meadow grass surrounding the stamped images, and plenty of inking around the edges, highlighting that fabulous crackle texture.











Once I was ready to assemble my accordion book, I laid the six crackle tags face down in order and stuck wide bands of double-sided sticky tape all the way across them.












At the final gap at each end, I made a little slit in the tape and slid my burlap ribbon through so that it would emerge on the outer side.

I then peeled back the tape coverings and stuck down my meadow tags in the right order, pressing them firmly into place.














Now, as it stands on display, you get the pairs of tags facing each other...


















... a Paper Doll friendship and some tall grasses...















... along with some lavender stems and two quotes to enjoy.

I rather like having the authors of the quotes tucked away in the corners.















When you fold the book away, the burlap ribbon emerges from between the tags...















... and wraps around twice for a simple fastening.  This is the back - so no number 60.














These are just some Idea-ology metal numbers altered with Distress Paint, and (over)heated for a touch of extra texture. 







When you look at the whole thing in one direction along the accordion you get the impression of a lovely flower meadow...


... and in the other direction you see all these pairs of friends, enjoying one another's company.


Just a few close-ups for you to finish off...  the quotes, the lavender, the inky meadow and, of course, the friends!  By all means, click on the photos for a larger version.






I'm happy to say that Inge was delighted with her card.  The trouble is Cestina didn't want to give it away, and now wants one of her own to match!  Well, there will probably be time for that some time soon, I guess...

I hope that gives you some inspiration to come and play along with us at Mini Album Makers this month.  If you feel in need of some more prompting, just take a look at the glorious creations made by my amazing team mates over at the challenge blog.





Our sponsor this month is the lovely Eileen Hull, and she is offering up a wonderful prize package of her Journalling Cards Hearts die to our lucky winner, so do come and play along.  As always, we'd love to see any handmade book or mini-album - all genres and styles and levels are welcome.

After the long silence, it's all go again at the moment.  I'll be back in the next couple of days with another new offering for you... In the meantime, I hope you're all having a great week, and I'll see you soon.





One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Since I'm in my favourite world of the meadow, with wild flowers and grasses, I'd like to play along at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, where they are looking for Wild Things

41 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful, summery creation Alison! Have a great day, Valerie

froebelsternchen said...

What a fabulous gift, your tag book for
the celebration of friendship is a unique piece of art Alison! Gorgeous! I love all the amazing texture and additions in your special beautiful style! Hugs, Susi

Helen said...

what a gorgeous gift to celebrate a life-long friendship, how beautiful.

Amanda said...

A beautiful gift, one to treasure for sure.
Love
Amanda x

Fliss said...

A breathtakingly serene little book Alison. Love the calming blues and greens and the textures from the distress technique are so beautiful. What a lovely gift for your mother's dear friend.
Fliss xx

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

I do love this accordion style, this is such a pretty display Alison and so delicately wrapped making a beautiful gift. Within my notes I have a couple of special Christmas cards to make in this style, need to go and circle them to mark them as *Musts* now. Beautiful and as ever Thank you for sharing.
Creative wishes Tracey xx

Evelyn Walter said...

This is such a wonderful gift to celebrate a long time friendship! The ladies will love it.
The blues and greens with all the meadows and grasses on it are making a really summery feeling and I love the little paper doll girlfriends!
Beautiful art as usual <3
xx Evelyn

Hazel Agnew said...

How clever Alison and a perfect tribute to a wonderful friendship. You have managed to create a perfect harmony with the colours and textures and the pairs of friends stand out while at the same time, sit comfortably. I so enjoy looking at your marvellous creations, they spur me on to do more and more! The hot weather has been glorious but it has slowed down my creativity. Xx

hazel said...

This is such a beautiful creation and a wonderful gift.
xxx Hazel.

Nancy Wethington said...

A tag book with flowers & children - amazing! Love this project!

Paper Wishes said...

Such a beautiful little book and beautifully photographed as ever. Those colours would make anyone happy, your oxide smooshing looks great. Its is so good to be able to create meaningful gifts and so much nicer to give too. And all the quotes are wonderful, a friend really is tone of the greatest gifts. x

Marci said...

A lovely book, just lovely.

Patty O'Malley said...

This is fantastic, Alison! What a delight!

Dorthe said...

It is beautiful Alison , I love your blue-green summer world, and the friends, enjoying it together, as I`m sure your Mom and her friend also did, once .
So gorgeous layers of stamps and the shadows making it look 3-d-
Hugs, Dorthe

Redanne said...

The more I look, the more I see on your beautiful tag album. Pairing the pages was such a great idea and the 'friends' quotes are so lovely. Your backgrounds, as always, are stunning. I am not surprised your Mum's friend loved this - I do too! Anne xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is absolutely exquisite, Alison!

Lucy x

craftytrog said...

So special, and simply beautiful Alison!

Autumn Clark - SewPaperPaint said...

So many times your posts leave me at a loss for words, but this one also has me breathless! Oh how I adore these sweet girls in their meadow with tall grass waving and the sky wide open! The quotes are just so perfect and I think every girl will feel a connection to this book and the memory of childhood friendships. I am lucky enough to have had the same best friend since I was four. I don't even remember when we met it was so long ago! So I've had her for a lifetime and as long as I can remember. What a precious thought! I'm so inspired and want to play with lilac right away! :) Big hugs, Autumn

Meggymay said...

This is a beautiful gift and a wonderful booklet that will be treasured.
Yvonne xx

Lys Scrap said...

A delightful gift and such a tribute to friendship! What a beautiful tag book!

Maria Lillepruun said...

Very beautiful! I looove all the eco and vintage details combined!

Lenie said...

Oh Alison this is so beautiful and such a lovely gift for friends. I try to find a shop here to buy this paperdolls too. They are so lovely.
I love the colours, green and blue are my favorites!
I'm so glad you had time for a new post! Love, Lenie

Mary Elizabeth said...

This is a true celebration of friendship. I love how mini-albums can take on so many different shapes, sizes, mediums, substrates, etc. They are only limited by the imagination. I adore this accordion tag style. I'm sure that Inge loved it! By the way, the Distress Oxide Inks make an absolutely lovely background for this mini-album!! Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Sue said...

This is fabulous Alison, I'm not surprised that your mum didn't want to give it away. Have a very happy August, Sue xx

Kate Yetter said...

A gorgeous accordian style tag book. I love the paper dolls.
Kate

Nan G said...

What a beautiful gift of Friendship! Just love when you play in the grasses Butterfly. :)

Jennie Atkinson said...

Alison your concertina book celebrating friendship is just adorable! The colours and design of the backgrounds are so wonderfully subtle yet refreshing. Then the wonderful quotes .... they brought tears to my eyes they are so beautiful (a new stamp set ???!!!). Another wonderful mini album. Jennie x

Cestina said...

This was everything, and more, than I had hoped for...

We set up a "friendship altar" on the radiator in the hotel room where we were staying to celebrate our 60 years of friendship. The card took pride of place, flanked by the two little vases filled with lavender.

Thank you so much for taking my chosen quotes and making of them something so beautiful... But of course I knew you would!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

LOVE this!!! It brings a smile to my face thinking of all the kids in the garden playing! LOVE the way you joined the tags too! Hope you are doing well!

Neet said...

An absolute delight. I adore what you have done and your mother will be so pleased to pass this over to her friend, Inge. How wonderful to have something like this to commemorate a beautiful friendship.
Hugs, Neet xx

Chrissy said...

WONDERful Alison..I love the colours and design and all the added details..fabulous project.

Luv CHRISSYxx

Craftyfield said...

This is so pretty, Alison! I love the colours, the dolls and the lavender stems. A wonderful keepsake!

Maura Hibbitts said...

You've created such a beautiful nature scene in your tag album, Alison! Love the textures in the green and lavender, and the reminder how much fun it is to turn tags into a mini album! Thanks for sharing your awesome make with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! hugs, Maura

Diana Taylor said...

Absolutely stunning - what a wonderful treasure to celebrate a very special friendship - Perfect!

Jackie P Neal said...

What an amazing gift Alison! Those lavenders were the perfect addition to your beautiful,signature grasses!i love how you stood it to see the meadow from the two girls- so clever!I am 99% sure Ina will adore this, the 1 percent is because I don't know her!
Thank you for sharing your steps as I was about to ask how you bound them- and there it was!
Have a beautiful weekend my friend! xo

Gail said...

Stunning work here -thank you for sharing how you accomplished this beautiful tag layout - have a blessed day

Coco said...

Sorry Alison for the late comment, but I was in the hurry this morning when visiting you, at first...
Loving my second visit tonight, walking through your delicate pages of this very special mini-album... It will be an delightful gift for the german friend of Celesta, she's going to adore it.
Well done you, dear Alison. This is such a beautiful concertina mini-book of tags!!
Coco xx

Paper Profusion said...

Love how light and fresh this looks Alison - I bet Inge and your Mum were thrilled with it. A really beautiful artwork reflecting their friendship. Nicola x

Margaret Mifsud said...

An absolutely stunning tag book!! I love the summery colours and all the beautiful details!! Thank you for the inspiration!! x

sally said...

What a beautiful celebration of this enduring friendship!

Sally xx

Mrs.B said...

A fabulous gift to celebrate friendship.
Love the colours and the layout with the quotes and paper dolls.
Avril xx