There’s nothing I enjoy more than looking through old family photos. I have this wonderful cousin (Tammy), who for our past two family reunions has gone way overboard in bugging all of us for old family photos. She’ll call and say something like “I’m coming over tomorrow with my computer at 2 o’clock to scan photos so have them ready.” And, she doesn’t take ‘no’ or any other excuse! For someone like me, that’s most likely the only way she’d ever get those pictures. I’m glad she plays the drill sergeant in the family or we wouldn’t have access to all the wonderful old photos she’s managed to collect in just two years. She burns a stack of cds so we can all take one when we attend the reunion. I always scan mine in and peruse the photos as soon as I get home.
So when I found out Xyron was hopping with Basically Bare I couldn’t wait! I love mini albums and I love acrylic just about as much so a book that combines all my favorite things was something I couldn’t wait to play with! I already knew what I would do with my book before my shipment from Xyron even arrived. I was thrilled with my Basically Bare Tiny Tabs mini book that I received so I grabbed my latest cd and downloaded and printed photos of siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents.
I started with the Tiny Tabs mini book and a jar of Claudine Hellmuth’s gesso. The acrylic pages in this Tiny Tabs book come with a protective covering which I left in place till I was ready to work with them. It really helps to protect them from the slob that I am!
I went through the entire book and painted all the pages on one side and let it sit to dry a bit then went through and painted the backside of every page. I do this to cover the kraft color of the pages as well as to reinforce them. The gesso adds to the thickness and durability of the pages and it enables paints and inks to stick as well. Notice I didn’t worry about painting around the binding wires. I love a vintage, distress style and this just adds to that look. I left the book to sit and dry while I readied the papers for the pages.
I used my Xyron Creatopia with the Scallop Cutz Cartridge to cut several 12-inch by 2 3/4-inch strips from Prima’s Nature Garden collection. This gave me a cute scallop edge for the bottoms of the pages. The pages were trimmed to fit just inside the Tiny Tabs chipboard pages, edges were inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, then the three straight sides were distressed with the Distrezz-it-all. They were all put through the Xyron 9″ Creative Station to apply adhesive to the backs. I use a Xyron with permanent adhesive for all my mini books. I love that the paper adheres solidly and never lifts and the fact that it is so clean and neat – can’t be beat for mini books!
Once the gesso on the pages was dry enough to work with I readied my supplies for the acrylic pages; there are four in this book. Because of the vintage and distressed style and the colors in the paper I used Staz-on opaque ink in Butter Cream to stamp on three of the acrylic pages (Staz-on ink is made for slick surfaces so is perfect for stamping on acrylic, glass, etc.).
On the fourth acrylic page I tried my hand with a stencil. I used painters tape to hold the stencil in place and spread a thin coat of gesso across the stencil; carefully lifted the stencil and stood the book to dry once again.
While that was drying I put together some embellies for the inside pages and cover. Then it was time for assembly. I stuck all the pretty pattern papers down, making the determination on which would be my cover and back cover first. With the pages already being passed through the Xyron it is so quick-any-easy to stick them down that you can move right on to the fun part of dressing the book and adding photos (did I mention that I love my Xyron 2.5″ Create-a-Sticker for this)!
For an accent on the cover I used a Basically Bare Small Pennant to simulate a tab closure. It is covered with scraps of the Nature Garden, inked and edged with a Gold Dabber from Ranger’s Adirondack line. In fact, I edged all the page edges with this gold paint – a little tip I picked up from Wendy Vecchi a few years ago.
I also punched some punctuation marks, inked the edges, ran them through my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker, dipped them in Art Glitter Poupon Microfine glitter then ran them through the Xyron again so they would adhere to an acrylic page (see below).
As you can see above, there is stamping on the acrylic page as well as the inked, glittered and Xyron-d punctuation. This is so cool because when you lift or lay down the page the elements give you a sneak peek of the page either below or above it. For this instance it is important to place your photos first so you can tell where the punctuation marks will fall on the photos (see below). I love to play with acrylic peek-a-boo pages!
This is the acrylic page with the stenciled design on the left and I added three punched tags to one side of the page and a punch ticket stub to the other.
There are so many pages is this cute Tiny Tags book that I actually stapled a couple of them together to make pockets and tucked in some tags to journal on. Enjoy some more pages here – just because!
This little book will be the perfect gift for a close family member (if I can stand to part with it). I may add a few more photos and something to the tabs on the acrylic pages yet. I believe you can never have too many photos or embellies in a mini book; the chunkier the better!