Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Treasured Memories

In this day and age, with electronics so prevalent, the art of journaling and capturing moments to be remembered or reflected upon, is becoming ever so popular. There are many options available, even albeit, electronic ones; however, when I saw this mini trifold, I thought right away, what a perfect opportunity to create something that could catalogue an experience in a truly special way, something that could be treasured for a very long time.

This wonderful trifold pocket mini from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts, is a great size to manipulate. It arrives flat with score lines already in place for easy assembly. I crease along the pre-scored lines and  fold the bare journal into shape so that I can get an idea for the surfaces that I will be working on. This makes it easier to envision which planes are internal vs. external, as well as adjacent and opposite, which allows me to generate ideas and envision how I hope the journal will look completed.
With a concept in mind, I search through my stash of papers and select a variety of pieces that work well together. Ultimately, I choose a patterned paper from the Memorabilia Paper Stash by Tim Holtz to be the main motif and set the color scheme. I gather coordinating inks and create some of my own handmade background papers to join the mix.
The trifold has three distinct interior sections with flaps. It is a very versatile piece; the flaps can be made into pockets, or used with some sort of closure to create tabs that lift and open. You can also remove or modify a flap for even different results. You will notice that I modified the flaps in varying ways. I altered the middle section flaps to create two mirrored pieces. To do this I trace the chamfered flap to create a template, which I then trace onto the larger flap and then cut into shape with scissors. The exterior face of these flaps are covered with the main paper pattern. A circular disk of the handmade background paper is secured to each flap with an eyelet. These discs are the basis of a string closure for this middle section.
I know that regardless of the layout, whenever the trifold is open flat, this middle panel with be the focus. As such, I want this panel to showcase a stitched slots die. This die cut offers "slots" that pieces of memorabilia and ephemera can be slipped into. This works so well for a folio that will store treasured memories. I cut this piece from the main patterned paper and layer it over a solid paper and then layer this onto one of my handmade, oxide ink backgrounds. This background piece extends along the interior of both flaps, as well as along the interior fold seams. The edges of both inside flaps are stamped and embossed. A flower die cut piece is adhered to each interior flap.  It is important to note that as I am creating the pieces for my trifold, I do not attach any papers or pieces until I have completely resolved the layout.
The next sections that I focus my attention on, are the side panels. I want to play off the floral design in the main paper.  To do this, I chose a flower design that I have matching stamps, stencils and dies of, knowing that I will be repeating the pattern throughout the project. This offers many different possibilities, while maintaining a common design/theme. I love using this technique in projects, I feel that it creates a very diverse yet unified design, and adds a lot of interest. I generally tend to retain a common color scheme as well, whether I use paints, papers or inks, it is carried throughout a project. This really keeps everything cohesive.
Using a stencil, I apply crazing medium through the openings with a palette knife. This is set aside to air dry. While it dries, I work on the flap that will cover this panel when closed.
The first thing I do is cut a decorative edge on the flap. To create the edge, I trace  along a die that is the shape I am looking for. I feel that this makes the flap coordinate better with the half circle of the first panel and the chamfered edges of the central portion. Once the pattern is drawn onto the chipboard, it is easily cut with a pair of scissors. I use a floral mixed media die to cut an opening in a piece of coordinating paper. I then chose a different paper to layer under the open areas. This "under" paper is stamped with  matching floral stamps in iced spruce Distress Oxide. I also randomly stamp some script text on the paper with the same ink. Before combining the layers, the word "cherish" is die cut from the top paper and adhered in a "shadow" fashion. I use gold to highlight and accent both the open cut shapes as well as the word. When the trifold is complete, this flap will be secured in place with a ribbon closure. I color seam binding ribbon with the iced spruce oxide ink to coordinate, and secure this ribbon to the flap prior to attaching any layers onto the flap, thus making it more secure as well as concealing the end.
The underside of this flap is covered with a piece of the main patterned paper. The paper is cut to shape and then inked around the edges. An ideaology ring fastener is attached at the top center of the piece before it is adhered to the chipboard. This ring fastener will be used to secure some tags created with both of the "flap" papers.
When the crazing on the background panel has completely dried, I re-place the stencil and rub distress ink into the crackled areas. I also rub some metallic distress crayon into areas of the flowers to create highlights. This is allowed to dry and then some of the brown inks that were rubbed into the cracks (brushed corduroy and walnut stain) are flicked onto the panel. The metallic distress crayon is mixed wth a bit of water and flicked onto the background as well. I layer this composition with another piece of paper, in a darker hue, that I have die cut using a stitched rectangle die. For this section, I decide to use the bottom flap as a pocket. The entire layout is adhered to the panel prior to securing the sides of the pocket. Please note that in order for a larger area of the crackled design piece to show, I cut down the pocket height. The pocket sides are attached using a hot glue gun. The exposed face of the pocket is covered with more of my handmade, oxide inked paper. A second piece of colored ribbon is attached to the back of the main panel (prior to adhering the trifold's cover paper) so that it is concealed.  The two pieces of ribbon can be tied into a bow to secure the panel in the closed position.
The second side panel utilizes a magnetic closure method. The bottom, rounded flap contains a concealed magnet that is attracted to another concealed magnet in the flap. The outermost portion of this flap is covered with the lighter hued solid paper that is stamped with the script text stamp in iced spruce oxide ink and clear embossed. This is partially covered by a section of a doily, die cut from green parchment paper, that is inked and stamped with the script text stamp in iced spruce. The inner portion of the rounded flap is also covered with a piece of the lighter hue paper which is stamped with a sentiment that I feel perfectly fits the concept of my trifold: "Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder."
The exterior of the top flap on this side, is covered with a patterned paper that depicts a woven pattern. I cut strips of my handmade, oxide inked paper, the same width of the weave pattern and slice the paper at the intersecting areas to allow the inked strips to be woven through. I weave the strips through and cut any protruding edges. I love how this adds interest to the flap panel and also helps carry the inked background paper throughout the trifold. This complete woven panel is inked around the edge and adhered to the flap with dimensional foam tape allowing the magnet piece under it to be concealed completely.
The interior side of the top flap is covered with the darker hue paper that is stamped and embossed with the script text. Along each side a trim stamp is embossed in gold. The center of this panel contains a die cut of the lighter paper secured atop the remaining sections of the doily. Before securing in place, an index clip is located along the edge to hold a ticket strip cut from the main paper. A coordinating flower die cut is also attached.
The central interior panel of this side is covered with the main paper. a small woven packet, created in the same manner as the outside flap, is centrally located. It holds a strip of journaling tickets that have been stamped and embossed to coordinate. A story stick is adhered onto the bottom corner to complete the panel.
Once everything is assembled and adhered, I cut a strip of the main paper to fit the outside of the trifold. The paper is 12" long and when it is wrapped around the outside surfaces, I notice that it is a bit shy in length to cover the entire length. I chose a piece of coordinating solid paper and cut it with the stitched die. I then add this decorative-edged paper to the end sections where the main paper is a bit short. The main paper is also edged with the stitched pattern and adhered.
The inside view when it is unfolded, but each section is securely closed: 
Some close up views of secured and unsecured sections:
I want a way to secure the trifold when it is completed and tucked away, but don't want to have it be overly fancy, especially since I may want to place it onto a bookshelf. I consider many options, and ultimately decide to dye a length of 3/4" elastic with Distress Ink in brushed corduroy. When it is dry, I cut the length to overlap when wrapped around the folded journal. I sew both ends of the elastic in place. Using a cabinet card from my stash, I remove the back panel and fussy cut around the design that surrounds the opening. Using a piece of the darker hued paper from the project, I die cut another flower; remove the die cut and replaced it with one that is cut and inked from a different paper (also used in the project). I add gold highlights, and mount this within the opening. Another paper slips through the overlapping area of elastic and is secured to the back of the cabinet card, securing it in place. This creates a fairly flat piece that slips on and off the trifold when not in use. It finishes off the journal exactly as I hope.
I really love the way this trifold came together, The colors and the patterns are gorgeous together. I think it will present the perfect opportunity to store some treasures and special memories. 

I hope that you are inspired to create your own mini album, they take a lot of planning and design, but I believe they are absolutely worth the effort!
Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts used: TriFold Pocket Mini

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