Kaiser Class Act – Double layout

Hmmm – interesting way to spend the post-Xmas euphoria period – scrapping a range outside your comfort zone – with photos you wouldn’t normally use in a pink fit. Tracy needed someone to step in (in a hurry) with the new Kaiser release – Class Act – so I put up my hand. Now primary colours are not my usual thing and cutesy themed ranges are generally outside my personal preferences zone – but I am fairly happy with what I managed to put together. Lol – especially since it meant using REAL photos rather than my preferred arty ones. You know, casual snaps – the ones with chaotic backgrounds, mis-matched clothes and messy hair – that don’t make picture perfect photos, but capture the nitty-gritty of everyday life.

Kaiser’s new range is bright and funky and very school-themed in appearace. Bright red, yellow and turquoise dominate the papers, with patches of orange, black and creamy white (think writing and grid pad patterns) and the odd bit of green and brown. To embellish, there are lots of rulers (some in almost glow-in-the-dark colours), pennants and small funky patterns – but most importantly – there are 3 wonderful pages of journalling blocks that cover all the year levels and almost all the possible school activities that you could think of.

My children’s school has a Grand-Parent’s Day every year and it is the highlight of my daughter’s school year. She sends a personally written invitation home and the class prepares a number of activities they share with their grandparents on the day. It is always a bit of a fuss at our place – because this is usually the time of year her grandparents are away on one of their ‘grey nomad trips” – but they usually make the effort to come back from where-ever they are to spend this special day with her and her brothers.

To record this day, (since parents are not allowed to attend), I usually end up with some happy-snaps that are slightly out-of-focus, poorly composed and which feature backgrounds that are a photographer’s nightmare. Still – they are cherished memories and need to be recorded in a layout. Last year though, I got more than the usual 2 or 3 – so I’ve had to work hard on how to include them all, along with the stories that need to be told. The 4 best photos have ended up on the double page layout – with all the other photos included on tags that I popped under one of the larger photos. That way my daughter still has a full memory of the day – and I can bear to look at the layout without groaning at the photo overload.

Left page

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Both pages in the double are based on the same general structure and the majority of the paper edges have been inked with black ink (Black Soot) to help make them stand out.

For the base page I used the bright turquoise (chevron) pattern on the reverse side of Accomplish. Rather than lose the entire page (and thus all those lovely ruler bits on the other side) – I trimmed out the middle section first and then popped a piece of the reverse side of  Complete  (the writing pad pattern) over it, as the centre section of the layout. It already has a notebook edge along one side – but I chose to punch over this with my EK Success Notebook Punch to emphasis this pattern.

There’s this really interesting funky pattern on the edge of Perform – so I chose to cut this in a way I could make a feature of this edge piece. I flipped the remaining piece over and used it reverse-side up (the yellow with orange writing bit) under the photos.

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Under the main photo of my daughter and her grandmother – I tucked in one of the journalling panels from the Superstar paper. Not only does it make a nice journalling spot – but the large “1” on it also stands for the year level she was in at the time of the photo.

The numerals for the year section of the title come from my Itty Bitty Alphabet (ALPHA005B) by Twiddleybitz. They’re the perfect size for that space and being already black – I didn’t need to do anything to them.

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Here you can see the funky patterned bit along the edge of Perform – I’ve cut under 2 of the edges of the pattern and tucked the photo under them to try and hide some of the messy background in the photo. Then I cut out some of the ruler bits from the cut-out section of the base  Accomplish paper. Overlaid over them, is a section hand-cut from one of the journalling panels on Personal Best. To embellish this corner – I added a paper-clip from my stationary collection and 3 silver charms from my2angels: the ruler, abc book and little boy (which in this case is just a ‘little person’ charm).

Finding a ‘dark contrast’ colour in this range is a little difficult (other than the Finish paper – which isn’t really that dark and I didn’t have it anyway). The Threading Water punched edge section you can see tucked under the edge of the Perform  paper, is actually created from the black ruler design. Luckily, that ruler bit is pretty wide – so I cut it up and have used it in several spots around the layout.

Underneath this larger photo is a smaller one that shows one of the activities from Grandparents Day. Here, my daughter is tracing out her Grandmother’s hand, so that she can then write on it 5 words (one in each finger) that best describe her Grandmother. (Isn’t that an ‘ahhhhhh’ moment!! Hmmm – I shall have to go find that bit of paper and write on the layout what she actually wrote for her 5 words and put that on a tag I can pop under the photo.) The smaller photo, along with the ruler ‘bits,’ are held together with a stationary metal clip – which I pop-dotted to the layout.

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Under the smaller of the two photos, I popped some twine that was just randomly twisted here and there to make interesting loops. At the end of the twine I glued on a little bow and a small silver apple charm. Behind these bits, you can see another section of the Threading Water punched length of black ruler from the Perform  paper.

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On this section of the random twine embellishment, I added a silver handmade charm to represent the ‘hand activity’ that is shown in the smaller photo.

And that’s the left side of the double done.

Right Side 

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For the right side, I pretty much started off with the same composition of papers, but flipped the page so that that yellow edge pattern (on Accomplish) was diagonally opposite to the left side of the double; and the funky edge section of Perform is now at the bottom, left edge of the page and not the top.

The rest of the title has more of my favourite Itty Bitty Alphabet (ALPHA005B) by Twiddleybitz – though the larger text is one of the Kaiser chipboard alphas I have left-over bits of in my stash.

All the left over (and ‘not so’ good) photos will go with more journalling on a series of tags -which I have/will pop under the larger photo on this page. The tags are/will be made from odd bits of Class Act papers – I’ve still got a few to make – and I will share these later down the track, when I get enough paper to finish them all off.

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The photo (of Madame reading to her Grandfather) is still tucked under the funky edge section of Perform  and I used the same combination of ruler ‘bits’, but this time I popped on a different hand-cut journalling element from the Superstar paper. A bit more twine and a pair of silver scissors charm finishes it all off perfectly.

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Above the photo I looped some twine to make random circles and then embellished this with a silver artist paint tray charm.

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For the photo of them sharing lunch together – I matted it with another journalling panel from the Superstar paper. I needed something to provide some visual interest and contrast; and having just the edges of the journalling panel showing was perfect (though the whole panel is very pretty in itself.)

The actual journalling is written on the left-over section of the Personal Best journalling panel (used on the left page) – since I didn’t want to waste it. I also popped bits of twine here and there on this layout, rather than making a long senction like the previous page – and here I simply made some loose circles and then topped these with a bow.

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Under the larger photo I popped another of the twine circle and loops embellishments and finished it off with an abc silver block charm.

So there it is – my venture into the raw reality of candid photos. The whole thing is still way too fussy and cluttered for me – but Madame adores it and that’s all that counts.

So if you have school photos from past years – particularly primary or prep photos – check out the Class Act collection at my2angels. The range of colours in the papers will suit most school uniforms; and the huge selection of journalling panel prompts, cover pretty much anything your kid will do at school. And then get scrapping – you have about a month before the new lot of school photos start rolling in … 😉

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Twiddleybitz Gate Mini Album (Tutorial) Part 2

The inner side of the front cover pages have been designed to match the first full page of the album. The base paper for all 3 pages, is the pretty, blue reverse side of Quince. The main page included part of the floral design on this paper, but the inner cover pages use the plain blue section of the paper.

The main embellishment on the left inner cover is this gorgeous Twiddleybitz  Flying Butterfly Clock – Steam (SPK002).  The final finish comes from a layered approach to the mediums applied to it. I started with an application of cream paint (Antique White from Kaiser). When you want a pale or light coloured finish to chipboard it is often best to apply a white/cream paint to start with, so that the chipboard colour itself does not alter/overshadow the final colour.

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The next step is to apply Iridescent Gold Glimmermist so that you get a shimmery gold look to the chipboard. Although you are going to add in further medium layers, applying a shimmer now will allow it to show through in the background.

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The next step was to coat the butterfly in Rock Candy Crackle Paint and allow to dry. It’s best not to use  your heat gun on this, as the crackle does not work well with a heat gun – but once the crackle process is well underway, you can use a light application of heat to ‘extend’ the crackle. How cool does this look?

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Although this stage in the process is lovely – it is too pale for the colours used in the mini – so I need to darken it a little. I’ve done this by applying a darker colour to the crackle finish (in this case Galaxy Gold Brilliance Ink) and rubbing it into the cracks in the crackle paint so that it emphasises the cracks and darkens the finish.  To further grunge it up a little I also rubbed a small amount of black ink into the edges of the chipboard. So here is the final piece – full of interest and texture and an underlying glimmer.

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When starting with the embellishing of the left inner page I popped a section of hand cut flowers (from the floral pattern on Quince) on the right hand edge of the page. Like most cut out pieces I do, I’ve applied some matching ink to the edges of the cut out elements to help hide the sharp white edge you get from cutting them out of the paper.

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One of the ticket die cuts (with complimentary colours to the paper) from the Collectibles pack was next.

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Next comes my gorgous butterfly.

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And then some of the word pennants from the Collectibles pack.

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And the finishing touch – a small cream (no brand) flower – which has been sprayed with a light misting of Iridescent Gold Glimmermist.

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Here is the page in the album.

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And another close-up of that gorgeous pattern on the butterfly…

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The middle page has this gorgeous floral pattern down one side and I love that so much, that I didn’t want to hide it very much. The photo takes up most of the rest of the blank space on the page, so the trick is to try and embellish around the photo – leaving as much of that pretty pattern as possible.

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To make the most of the space, I’ve chosen to use some corners from the Swirls Pack 8 pieces (SPK002) which I am going to tuck under the photo corners and have protruding over the edge of the page. For this page I want to emphasise the white/gold combination on the page (since the photo has some white on it too) so I’ve chosen gold ink and a white/gold embossing enamel finish for the chippy.

I’ve started off with my go-to Galaxy Gold Brilliance Ink for the base layer …

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and finished it off with this lovely Stampendous Aged Ivory Embossing Enamel.  It’s a mixture of off-white with this stunning gold fleck mixed in here and there. Love it.

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And here the corners are, tucked in under opposing corners of the photo.

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I found this lovely little journalling spot in the 6.5″ Paper Pad – it was perfect popped into a space in the floral pattern. I also added in a small bit of hand cut flowers that were left over from the left (inside) cover page.

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The final touches were a hand cut butterfly for the top right corner – which was looking a bit bare – and a journalling tag from the Collectibles pack. I added a length of black ribbon to the tag and popped it in behind the photo. Most of the photos in this album have been adhered with dimensional tape for the purpose of allowing me to hide the journalling tags behind the photo.

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And here is the page in the finished album.

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The inside, right cover has been kept pretty simple – partially because the left side is so complex and dimensional and partially because I really wanted to feature the die cut quote panel. After cutting out and trimming the panel, I lightly inked the edges so that it would stand out from the background paper a little better. Underneath it I put a bit of muslin fabric, which I had pulled apart at the edges a little to make it look fragile and delicate.

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The only addition to the page is a trio of the small flowers I’ve used throughout the album. It’s nice to repeat elements so as to make sure that the various pages are linked throughout the whole mini.

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Here is the same page in the finished album.

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And there you go – the first set of pages are done.

Twiddleybitz Gate Mini Album (Tutorial) Part 1

I’m going to run this tutorial over the next few days. It would be way too long as a single post otherwise. So let’s start with the gates and cover pages.

[Apologies on the quality of some of my photos during the putting together of the album. Most of it was done late at night and the lighting reflects that.]

To create the cover pages that will be seen through the wrought iron gates, I first inked the edges of the chipboard with Black Soot Distress Stain. This gave me a ‘finished’ edge to them – making it easier to add patterned paper without needing to cut it exactly.

Before beginning the mini album I picked out the photos I wanted to use. Most of them have our old, faded grey paling fence in the background behind my daughter. I wanted to reproduce this fence as part of the mini album and the paling fence pattern of the Willow paper in the Pickled Pear range allowed me to do this easily.

I trimmed down two pieces of Willow to match the size of the gate covers and another to match the back cover. This is easiest to do by tracing around the chipboard pieces, using them as templates. Then I trimmed them down a further half centimetre along all edges. I’m going to use the piece meant for the back cover for all the images that go with my explanation of the process.

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Once you have it trimmed down to size, you need to use a distressing tool (a proper Heidi Swapp or Tim Holtz one works best – though a pair of scissors will do fine too) along all the edges to rip and distress them. Add in some additional bigger rips here and there and tear some ‘holes’ in the fence in a couple of places. I’ve popped it back onto the chipboard cover here, so you can see how well the holes will contrast against the patterned paper.

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The next step is to use a black ink (try to use an old pad if you can, so that the ink is not heavy and black, but is faded) along all the edges. It is important to ink down along the rips and tears to age them as well. A little bit of ‘overspray’ to the inking is fine too – see the 2 rip holes below for what I mean.

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The final touch is to lightly wipe the ink pad across the paper here and there, so that you leave a light smattering of ink. A sort of smudgy look. This will ‘age’ the fence panels in the un-ripped sections to match the edges/rips. Have a good look at the following image and compare it to the one before it – you should be able to see that the second image is grungier than the first.

When you are happy with how they look – attach the fence panels to the chipboard cover with dimensional tape.

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Here are the 2 front panels to match the back cover.

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And here is the one on the left after I put the mini album title on it. I’ve used the Itty Bitty Alphabet (ALPHA005B) from Twiddleybitz for my title. These particular alphas are black to start with – but I added some black Kindyglitz to them to make them sparkle a little. Although it’s a similar product to Black Soot Distress Stickles – the finish is very different. The Kindyglitz has less texture to it, the ‘black’ is more pronounced and the glitter is more evenly spread compared to the Distress Stickles. Apologies that you cannot see the sparkle on the alphas – Kindyglitz is notoriously hard to capture properly in photos without using a flash and doing that would have flashed out everything else.

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And here are the two inner gate pages as they appear in the final album.

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I like the back of my mini albums to be fairly flat and not overly embellished – so all I added to it was a simple journalling spot and a couple of word strips – all from the Collectibles pack.

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I wanted a wrought iron feel to the actual gates themselves, but at the same time I wanted them to be pretty and feminine. I got the best of both worlds by producing a glittery, rusted look to them by using the following process.

Ink the gates with a shimmery gold ink. It needs to be nice and thick. I’ve used Galaxy Gold Brilliance Ink from Dew Drop.  Then heat gun it to make it set. Check out the shimmer – this is one gorgeous ink.

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I wanted a dual-tone look to the gates – so over the gold I randomly applied some Weathered Wood Distress Ink. It matches the dominant blue in the paper range really well.

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To get the rusty look I needed 2 stages – the first was to rub over the gate randomly with Black Soot Distress Ink and then heat gun the gate to set all the inks. You can still see bits of the Weathered Wood here and there.

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The second half of the process is to add a thick layer of Black Soot Distress Stickles and dry this with a heat gun. You get this lovely sparkly look that is both grungy and textured at the same time.

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Here’s another couple of views of the texture of the gates in better light.

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Once my gate – both sides – was done, it was time to add embellishments. That’s a rather organic process – so it is a bit hard to take photos step by step thoughout. I pulled apart two Prima arrangements – one relatively recent vine with plastic leaves and flowers; and a much older bouquet-style arrangement of paper flowers. The yellows, light green and white of the flowers were a perfect match for the Pickled Pear paper range. To the gate on the left I added a small bronze filagree butterfly charm.

To attach the flowers to the gate I first entwined them around the ‘rails’ with whatever bits of stem and vine I could. Then I added a few touches of glue here and there to make sure they all stay put. I prefer using Tombow glue (the white/green container) but sometimes I find it doesn’t hold up to high level use – so I’m not sure how it will cope with heavy duty handling – but for just looking at – it should all stay put.

Here’s the completed left gate over it’s matching cover.

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And here is the left gate as it appears in the finished album.

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Another shot – this time looking on the ribbons that are tied around the “rings” holding the album together. I used a variety of ribbon styles, widths and colours (even some tulle netting) and tied some of them into bows, leaving others just as tied on strands.

(A note on the rings – they are silver – not my preferred colour, which is bronze. I can’t find any large bronze rings – well, I can’t find bronze rings of any size actually. Sigh – I will settle for black if I can find them – even a cream or green to match the paper colours. Anything is better than the silver. I live in hope of finding some.)

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The other side of the gate has a matching floral cluster.

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To finish off this side of the gate – since the other side got the title – I popped a couple of the die cut butterflies from the Collectibles Pack together and then put them over one of the journalling spots from the same pack. This is slightly smaller in size than the hole in the gate – so to keep it in place, I punched out an acetate circle and glued that to the underside of the gate and then glued the journalling spot to the front of that.

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And here is the right gate as it appears on the finished album.

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And now both gates together. The final touch to the gates was to add a little bronze chain wrapped around the gate. This was then emvellished with a bronze key and lock charm set, a bronze butterfly dangle charm and some pearls. The chain has been wrapped around both gates indpendently and then the final length is used to tie them together. You open up the chain by undoing the lobster clasp holding the two ends together. As you can see, without this, the album has a tendency to gape open.

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A close up of that gorgeous chain/charm album closure.

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With the gate covers done it’s time to move onto the inner pages.  Check them out in up-coming posts. 🙂

Twiddleybitz Gate Mini Album

Yeah I know, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy at work and planning the new house – plus the usual family stuff that seems to happen.  Hmmm – maybe not usual for every other family – but definitely the usual chaos for mine. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks though, working on a new mini album using the gorgeous Twiddleybitz Gate Album (BK016). This has five pages – one of them a split page – and a stunning wrought iron gate style cover that you open up to get inside the album.

The paper range I chose to use with it is the beautiful Pickled Pear from Kaiser. This is one of those ranges you need to see in real life to appreciate. I wasn’t overly keen on it looking at it online – but I have to admit that I love it now. Lovely soft blues, browns, greens and cream – a touch of black and grey here and there – and an abundance of gold. Perhaps the best part of the range though, is the fantastic set of bits and pieces you get in the Collectibles pack. Butterflies, flowers, tickets, etc – but most of all – a heap of useful words printed on pennants or plain word tags. I love them so much, I have bought 2 sets and am seriously thinking I need a third. 🙂

In this post I am going to show you the album as it is – finished. Over the next week or so I will put up a series of step-by-steps to show both the techniques I used on the chipboard and the way in which I put the album together. If there is anything I have missed out – feel free to contact me to ask to include it.

So here are the front covers – it’s hard to get them to stay closed without the chain closure done up …

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but you can see here that the chain does it nicely – keeps all the gorgeousness under control.

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I’ve used the Itty Bitty Alphabet (ALPHA005B) for my title. I popped it onto the inner gate cover panel so that it shows through the opening in the ‘gate’.

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A close up shot of the left cover …

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and now the right.

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Here’s the inside left cover. The embellishment cluster was designed around the stunning Twiddleybitz  Flying Butterfly Clock – Steam (SPK002) piece.

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The right inner cover is a little less ‘fussy’, but still very pretty.

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The centre page has these lovely corner chipboard swirls, which are from the Swirls Pack 8 pieces (SPK002) – this is a ‘show special’ pack from Twiddleybitz.

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The next page features part of a Roman Clock Face Small (CF002), as well as a leaf stem from the Fine Fern Leaves Assorted (FER002) pack.

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One of my favourite pieces of chippy is on the next page. Got to love an Eiffel Tower (EIF001) for the ultimate girly glamour symbol – especially when it sparkles like this one.

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The next page features the sweet Butterfly Ornate Corner (COR007) – I have altered this – in that all but one of the small butterflies was cut off the end of the corner.

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The rest of the small butterflies were used on the next page, along with a butterfly from the Butterfly Mix Bag of 3 (BUT001).

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There wasn’t much room for anything other than the photo on this page – so no chippy – just a few bits of die cut.

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The matching page though, got another of those pretty Fine Fern Leaves Assorted (FER002) stems – this time with a different medium to embellish it.

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The final page is one of my favourites – I love the rich colours of the patterned paper and all the layers in the butterflies/leaves/flowers.

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And finally, the back cover – with a clear view of the gorgeous ribbons I added to the album rings.

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I’ve had so much fun with this mini album. As most of you who regularly visit my blog know, I usually make my own from scratch – so it was nice to have one all ready made for me – particularly since it had a defined number of pages and wasn’t the ever endless versions I seem to make. This one was even more interesting in the way it all went together – a bit tricky though with the differing opening pattern for the pages – because I had to think about how each page would look against the one behind it when opened up.

Anyway – I hope you like it and that you will come check out how it was put together as I post up the step-by-step for each page.