As promised, today I'll share the mini album I created this past weekend, and walk you through how I did it - step by step. Let's get started with a look at the album, shall we? :)
(Click on the photo to enlarge)
This is the cover. I often create the cover last.
So by now, you're starting to catch on to me and my little bag of mini album tricks, aren't you? :)
Like the albums I shared yesterday, this one follows a recipe and is repeated again and again. And like the albums I shared yesterday, I used just one photo on a page. Now I've got a little trick to help those of you who like to use lots of photos, but I'll share that with you in a minute. Let's go back to the beginning, and I'll walk you through each step.
Step 1: The Recipe (a.k.a. "The Sketch" or "The Layout")
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the recipe is a central part of my mini album planning. Knowing my basic design ahead of time allows me to move quickly. And if you're like me, time is money. OK. It's not really money, since last time I checked I wasn't being paid by the hour to do laundry and play Legos, but you get my point. Time is precious!
Here's the sketch I created for this album:
A couple of things here. Notice my recipe is simple. I do this for a couple of reasons. The first is a simple layout means fewer products, usually. And as you may have noticed on day 1, I like mini-mini albums. The smaller the better. Since I'm not working with a lot of space, it's best to keep the embellishments to a minimum, in my humble opinion.
The other reason I keep things simple is this... I'm eager to finish. That's right! A huge part of the enjoyment for me is in the final product. I love looking at my completed albums, which means I need to finish it. Hence, simple = complete album. Gotta love that!
Step 2: Choosing My Topic
Now I know. Most of you will be driven to create a mini album based on a topic first. So if you need to do a little switch-a-roo and swap steps 1 and 2, I won't mind. ;)
There are lots of ways to chose a topic. For me, knowing I would be sharing this as a little tutorial, I wanted to create an album using 4x6 photos because we all have access to 4x6 photos. Recently I had gone on a Sunday-walk with my daughter, Anna, in hopes of getting a few snapshots of her. I decided to combine a few of the photos from our walk with some favorites taken earlier in the summer (she's even wearing the same top in each of the photos!) to use in the album. I brainstormed some ways the photos were connected and came up with my title, "I Love This About You."
Step 3: Choosing My Papers/Embellishments/Album
This was the fun part. I knew I wanted to use papers that were girly, since my album would be featuring my daughter. I also knew that I wanted the album to come together quickly, so I decided to use a kit from a favorite single manufacturer, Cosmo Cricket. Those of you who already know Cosmo Cricket know they consistently put out collections that are both colorful and unique. I had been eyeing the Girl Friday line for a long time and finally decided this album would be the perfect place to use it! I was lucky enough to get my hands on their Girl Friday Crafting Kit, which, in addition to 12 darling double-sided papers, comes with a coordinating sticker sheet and coordinating tags. Perfecto!
For my album, I chose the Ethan's Blackboard Album, also by Cosmo Cricket. It's 6x8, which fit with my recipe and allowed me to use a 4x6 photo without any trimming or cropping. If you haven't seen these albums in person, believe me when I tell you the black is such a cool change from the usual kraft chipboard!
Finally, for my embellishments, I pulled out a leftover canister of Prima flowers and found they coordinated perfectly with the darling Girl Friday papers. A couple of stray brads and voila, I had all I needed to complete my album in record time.
Step 4: Journaling
I don't know about you, but for me, when I'm working on a project journaling either comes or it doesn't. In this case I was having trouble putting my thoughts into words. I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but somehow the words just came out sounding too formal. I decided to type in all lowercase as if I were talking to my daughter, rather than writing. This small change gave me the nudge in the right direction, and before I knew it, the journaling was flowing. It's not poetry, but that's ok. I didn't want a silly thing like formality to keep me from telling Anna just how I feel.
Now if you're looking at my typesetting and thinking it looks kind of familiar, I borrowed the dotted line down the left hand margin from the pdf of a tutorial our dear Cathy Zielske created for Ali Edward's Blog. When it comes to type, Cathy's a genius! I used Adobe Illustrator, but you could easily duplicate this look in Photoshop. Just type a series of ..................., change the color and rotate them so that they're standing perpendicular to your text.
Once I had my journaling block all set, I printed it and trimmed it 3.25" wide (the height depends on the legnth of your journaling), then rounded the top two corners.
Step 5: Puttin' It All Together
Since I'm a visual learner, I thought some of you might like to see the recipe labelled part by part. Here's how it all came together.
I started by adhering the photo and the patterned paper rectangle, then trimmed the corners to match the rounded edges of the album page. I added a 6" border from the Crafting Kit to separate the photo and the patterned paper. In some cases, I trimmed the border legnth-wise to double my borders. Then I added the journaling block and the flower embellishment.
I usually use single photos on my mini album pages. I don't really take tons of photos, so I often don't have a lot to scrapbook. However, every once in awhile I go crazy and have stacks and stacks of photos (digitally, of course) that I want to use in an album. In the case of this album, I've created a storyboard for Photoshop users, which will allow you to drop in 5 photos per page. The final product should yield a decent replacement for a single 4x6 photo. Up until the other day, I'd never created a storyboard template of any kind. But, thanks to the talented Cathy Zielske and her multi-photo grid tutorial, I was able to create a template using the same principles explained in her video. If you haven't tried it yet, you've just got to do it! I was amazed at how easy it was! Best of all, I now have a template that can be used again and again. Gotta love that!
You can go watch Cathy's video and create your own (just size it to 4x6), or you can simply download the template I created using her video. Here's what it looks like:
You'll need to watch Cathy's tutorial for instructions on how to layer the photos.
Here's the above template (blank) for those who prefer to download it.
Whew! That was a lot to get through in one post. I hope I didn't loose anyone! If I did, I'll be around to answer your questions, so just post any you have in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them.
Now I know some of you have been hanging out waiting for a challenge. Here it is (actually, there are two):
1)Create a single layout OR a complete mini album using the recipe used in the mini album above.
2) Create a single layout OR a complete mini album using the multi-photo template.
Upload your pages or albums to the gallery and be sure to work the words "recipe" in the title so I can find them.
All pages uploaded will be featured in Saturday's post, and a random winner will be chosen to receive a little something in the mail from me just for participating.
Now DON'T FORGET! Tomorrow is give away day! Remember when I said the give away this week is outta this world? Well, here's another hint. If you've caught the mini album bug, this give away will be right up your alley!
See you all tomorrow. And don't forget to participate in the challenge! And then I'll see you all again on Thursday to show you how I'm using the scraps from my super cute Girl Friday Crafting Kit. :) The fun never ends...