Monday, March 19, 2018

Tutorial Series, Loose Spine Mini

Hi everyone, I'm starting a video tutorial series on how to create the spine and framework for the mini I did with Carta Bella's Country Cowboy.  This will be a playlist series on my personal YouTube channel called Loose Spine Mini Tutorial Series.  The first video is the spine construction, the following videos will show ideas to do each page and the final video will be the outer covers and decorations.  I hope I share something new for you to take away and try yourself.  Please subscribe to my YouTube channel so you'll be notified when the next video is live.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cowboy Country Mini Album for Country Craft Creation

a Country Craft Creations design team project

Hello everyone, I've a fun mini album to share with you straight from the days of my youth.  Steve Duncan has designed this fabulous collection for Cata Bella called Cowboy Country.  This mini would be perfect for any age Cowboy or Cowgirl in your family.  A great mini to house those family photos you have tucked away.  So let's get started and see what you think.

This mini sports six pages accordion pleated and directly glued to the hinges with no gussets (you'll get a great description of this process on the video).  The spine is free to move and be flexible.  I love this look and I love how the mini lies almost flat as you're thumbing through it.

I opted not to have any type of closure on it and even though it looks very open mouthed here it really isn't.  Adding a belly band closure or a knotted tie closure would be super simple if the mini were too grow to wide once the photos were added. 

 I did include six large top slip in tags for some fairly good sized photos.

Throughout the mini I've used a lot of magnets to keep things neat and tidy and each page has some sort of sisal rope on it.  I love that rope/twine, it has that definite country feel to it.  There are lots of pockets and slips to hold an abundance of of mats and tags.

I discovered that if I used my clear Wink of Stella glitter pen on different wordings (like the Yee Haw above) and then once dry went over it with Glossy Accents I had just a hint of sparkle show through and a nice raised effect from the Glossy Accents.  Perfect for a cowboy mini with not too much glitz and glam.

As I said above this mini has six two-page spreads which gives lots of area to showcase this great collection of Western themed papers.

I hope you'll join me on the video for a complete walk through of the mini.

From Country Craft Creations Store
Art Glitter Glue

Please visit Country Craft Creations here -
you can also join the Facebook group
Scrapbookers of Country Craft Creations here -
Or Coffee Talk page here -

Visit me at A Soul's Heartbeat on

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crafty Storage and it's Red!

a Canvas Corp Brands CREW project

Hello everyone, just a little sneak peek at a project I just completed for the Canvas Corp Brands CREW.  I had this paper mache pitcher and decided it would be the perfect holder for my stencil brushes. I used the luscious DIY and Decor Paint in Scarlet to transform it to fit into my crafty space.  Yep, you guessed it I use white with red accents anytime I can in my space.  Red is my happy color.  I hope you'll pop on over to the Canvas Corp blog to check out the full post and see how I did what.  As always I'll also have a full video of the process and the after photos.  Thanks so much for stopping by and don't forget Canvas Corp Brands is based right here in the USA and if you place a minimum $10 order in the USA shipping is free, yep you heard me right free.  So jump on over there and check out the fabulous offerings they have.  Be sure and hit the NEW button since new 2018 items are being added weekly and you sure wouldn't want to miss out on any of the yumminess available for your crafty hands!  You can see the full blog post, video link and how to steps and photos HERE

Follow Canvas Corp Brands StoreBlog and Facebook Collective Group (this is a group you must request to join, but boy is it worth it!!!)Canvas Home Basics at Facebook and Instagram.
7gypsies at Facebook and Instagram.Tattered Angels on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit me at A Soul’s Heartbeat on BloggerFacebookYouTubePinterest and Instagram.
Have a great crafty day everyone.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Photo Play's Love Notes - Chipboard Mini Album

a Country Craft Creations Design Team

Today I'm sharing a fun collection from Photo Play called Love Notes.  Even though it's primary use is for Valentines I've designed this mini to be used for any special family photos or occasion.  You won't find the word Valentine inside anywhere.  But, you will find lots of opportunities to showcase those special ones you love.

I couldn't resist using the Pigs Flying paper.  OMG they are just so darn cute.  I tried lots of options for the closure of the book including the two metal rings which were included.  I finally opted for two lacings of three of the colored seam binding from the Country Craft Creations store.  I love the scrunchy look (achieved by wetting the seam binding, scrunching it up and allowing to dry)

The book is constructed of 8 premade chipboard album pages measuring 6x6" not including the tabs.  

As is typical in most of my mini's the two adjoining pages match with corresponding paper and elements to provide a good flow from one page to the other.  I've used a lot of Stickles and Glossy Accents throughout the book to give lots of glitter and glitz as you turn the pages.

Because I also had the sticker sheet I incorporated as many as I could here and there throughout the book.  One way to keep the bulk down, which I've used numerous times within, is to ink around the edge with a permanent black marker.  This gives the illusion of another sheet of black without the weight. You can see how nice this looks on the Kisses tab above.

There are belly bands and pockets and frames to add numerous photos and notes within the pages.  Lots of room to capture those wonderful moments for generations to come.  You can see how I trimmed around the hanging hearts to create the cute pocket above.  I backed the top edge of the cut out with heavy packing tape before cutting the decorative edge.  This gives a smooth flow in and out of the pocket and also strengthens that top edge.

Please join me on the video for a complete walk through and lots more photos.  Thanks so much for stopping by today and have a fun crafty day playing in your own crafty space.

Supplies from the Country Craft Creations store - 

Art Glitter Glue

Please visit Country Craft Creations here -
you can also join the Facebook group
Scrapbookers of Country Craft Creations here -
Or Coffee Talk page here -

Visit me at A Soul's Heartbeat on

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Country Kitchen Mini Album

a Country Craft Creations design team project

Carta Bella collection, Country Kitchen, has lent itself wonderfully to my new mini.  Tammy Merrill from Country Craft Creations supplied me with the majority of the goodies to make this album.  I hope you'll take away some inspiration for one of your next minis.

This is an 8" square mini constructed with medium weight chipboard and covered with black Artisan cardstock along with decorative papers and elements from the Carta Bella Country Kitchen collection.

I included two extra sides to this mini so that the pages are completely enclosed when snapped shut (magnets hold the front securely as well as holding different pages and elements shut within the book)  You can easily do this to any mini you're making by adding an additional spine on the right hand side and a skinnier front piece to magnetize all together.  My front strip measures 8"x1 1/4"

This mini includes six hinges with 1/2" gussets between each.  Three sections are made using cut out oval frames from my Cricut and decorative edge elements on the flip page.  

This is the backside.  Once the photos are in place all the edges around the frames can be securely glued to keep the photos snugly in place.  You can see the decorative edge cut on the Farm to Table page, this was also made using my Cricut.

The frame sections are tri-folds, as shown above, this allows for lots of room for photos or if you're showcasing the great cooks of your family, recipes. 

The additional three sections either have pockets, belly bands, flip outs, or tuck ins.  It's a great amount of real estate for those family cookbook favorite photos.  The paper is so darling I think the animals, pigs, cows and chickens just make you smile.

Side pockets lend themselves to tuck in books this one will hold two 5" square photos on the inside.  The little bags are perfect journaling spots for memories you want to pass on for years to come.

Clustering 3-5 elements cut from the collection provides fun pockets for mats and photos.  I always like to remind crafters when you create pockets this way to secure the back side with some wide tape, this provides a nice smooth surface from sliding things in and out of the pocket.  No snaggy edges to catch on.

When using a belly band I always like to include some sort of stopper at the bottom to prevent photos and mats from sliding all over the place.  Here I've used the cute little farmhouse.

There's lot of fun stuff inside these pages so I hope you'll join me on the video for a complete walk through with lots more photos.  Have a great crafty day my friends!

Please visit Country Craft Creations here -
you can also join the Facebook group
Scrapbookers of Country Craft Creations here -
Or Coffee Talk page here -

Visit me at A Soul's Heartbeat on

Monday, November 6, 2017

Prima's Amber Moon Large 10x10" Mini Album

a Country Craft Creations design team project

Fall is such a beautiful time of year.  While the leaves are still rustling around on the branches and the clear days are crisp and clean waiting for those first winter snows.  Frank Garcia's Amber Moon collection for Prima sure has a lot of those gorgeous fall feelings in each and every page.  I loved working with it.  Thank you Tammy Merrill from Country Craft Creations for allowing me to play with this beautiful collection.

This mini is much larger than my norm, it measures 10"x10"x3".  I really enjoyed having so much room to play with because of the larger scale.  I did adjust my hinges to a 3/8" gusset between each page so I could cram six pages into the book.  The cover is Bo Bunny's Vintage Double Dot, which plays so nice with this Prima collection. The spine is Kraft-Tex which I've had forever (I bought it at Amazon) but had yet to try.  I must say I was pleased with the way it glued and punched.  It's called a paper fabric and I do believe is almost indestructible. 

To adorn the front I used a laser cut chipboard swirled heart I'd won from Creative Embellishments.  I tell you viewers over and over, enter to win, you can't win these fantastic prizes companies offer if you don't win.  I covered the heart completely with TCW Gold Gesso, I love this Gesso.  It's super creamy, goes on without any problems and creates a luscious gold glimmer.  In the middle of the heart I placed one of the Amber Moon collections chipboard pieces and surrounded it with these Prima flowers called Amber Moon-Raven.  I had used the polka dot sheer ribbon for a bow and used the remainder snipped pieces tucked here and there amongst the flowers.  The closure is a clock key that's been moved here and there in my crafty stash for eons.  I used a Tim Holtz elastic closure pulled from the back and looped around the clock key to secure the book closed.  See if you hold onto things long enough they finally have a purpose.

The pages measure 9 1/2" wide by 9" tall that allowed me head space to add top tags.  Each page has an insert opening on the backside for a huge tag.  I used my Cricut to cut a decorative mat and then recut it again smaller with the solid cardstock, placing it front and back to give the tags more stability and a great home for an extra large photo.

I didn't do a tutorial on this because it's simply a matter of building pockets, flaps and belly bands and then adding lots and lots of tags and foldable spots for photos.  I used a lot of the chipboard and puffy stickers from the Amber Moon collection throughout the book.  I only used one punch, an older EK Success, called Deco Scallop punch, to add some movement to some of the page edges and tags.

I also added a spring clamp on each page tied with the three colors of seam binding I was using in this mini.  This allows either a folded page to stay shut or an extra tag or photo to be hung.  These clamps were a gift from my friend Paula, and again have been resting quietly in the back recesses of a crafty drawer.  They actually come with red rubber feet on the prongs but red just didn't cut it so that part was easily removed.

I did pull out some very old Kaisercraft paper that I'd been hoarding.  Oh I'd pull it out drool over it and stick it back.  Not this time this time it was the perfect compliment to the Prima collection.  You can see I used it on the belly band here and backing the word circle.  Again you can see how nicely the Bo Bunny Vintage Double Dot paper played with the collection as well.   There are no rules when you are creating.  If you, as most of us, have stuff stuck back here and there pull it out and see if the colors and designs play nice with one another.  If so it gives you lots of additional options in your creation.

Just this week I had a YouTube viewer leave me a comment and remarked that I'm always so willing to share my oops and oh no moments.  I just think if new crafters realize at the onset that we all have those moments and it's ok, most everything you do is fixable.  Sometimes the end result of fixing up an error results in a page better than the beginning.  Here you can see I added some butterflies to the brown background paper.  That was an oops moment where I stuck a gluey finger onto the brown and left a mark.  There will probably be a large photo placed here but in the meantime every time i came to this page I'd see that mark, simple solution, butterflies.  And just as I said, I like the brown so much better with the addition of the butterflies.  So never fear mistakes are only mistakes until you make them into creativeness!

OK a couple of things I want to bring your attention to here.  I had this odd shaped piece laying on my crafty desk.  Of course this page with the sheet music was instantly one of my favs in this set of papers. The more I looked at the scrap the more I saw a house so with a little trimming and the matting of the brown I think it looks like a church steeple, ok so I have an imagination, lol.  Point of story is those odd shaped scraps can often lead to very interesting pockets.  I added a chipboard bird and a Bo Bunny brad and then had a great pocket for tags and photos.

The other thing I wanted to draw your attention to is the mat with the funky pull.  That's actually two sheets of paper from the A4 paper pad leaving the top potion (the part that's bound into the paper pad) intact.  I glued two papers together to create this mat and great pull at the top.

I think I'll stop with the page reviews with this one, as always there is a complete walk through on the video as well as lots of other photos.  I just wanted you to see here how nicely the cut aparts made into a deep bottom pocket.  I kind of wished I'd lined them with a deep brown across the top to give them even more of a punch but still like the look of the pocket as is.

I hope you'll join me on the video.  Links to store products, Country Craft Creations social media sites and my own sites will be directly below the video.  Thank you my crafty friends for spending time with me.

Supplies from the Country Craft Creations Store

Please visit Country Craft Creations here -
you can also join the Facebook group
Scrapbookers of Country Craft Creations here -
Or Coffee Talk page here -

Visit me at A Soul's Heartbeat on

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Upcycling Paper Cores

I had the best time upcycling these thick heavy cardboard cores my niece brought me.  She works for a grocery store and they get these daily.  They were tossing them until they discovered we might be able to do something crafty with them.  I've wanted something to house my markers in so thought this would be a good project to use them with.

As always you can check out the complete blog post over on the Canvas Corp Blog and my how to step by step video below.

Supplies from the Canvas Corp Stores –
Tattered Angels –  Decor and DIY paint – Scarlet

Follow Canvas Corp Brands StoreBlog and Facebook Collective Group (this is a group you must request to join, but boy is it worth it!!!)Canvas Home Basics at Facebook and Instagram.
7gypsies at Facebook and Instagram.Tattered Angels on Facebook and Instagram.
Visit me at A Soul’s Heartbeat on BloggerFacebookYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Overall Album for that Little Guy

a Sa Crafters Design Team Project

Please check out the complete blog post over on Sa Crafters blog here .  I absolutely loved creating this shaped little boy overall mini.  It's always so fun, and different, to do a shaped mini opposed to one I've created with front, back and hinges.  It's just a whole different animal and so much fun.  I loved decorating each of the 10 overall pages.  In fact it was kind of hard to go back and add the photo spots and tuck ins because the overalls and shirts were just so darn adorable.  But, a mini needs room to add all those favorite photos of your little guy and this one certainly doesn't disappoint.  It always is amazing how many photos a mini like this can hold and this one is no exception, with room for lots of 4"x6" photos.

Because this mini isn't bound it uses rings to hold it together at the tops of each page.  I use round rings to begin with but switched them out for larger D rings that were much stronger and allowed the pages to turn easier.  I adorned the rings with ribbons I'd used on the pages.

There are lots of tuck spots, pockets and areas to house tags, mats and photos.  After all a new baby needs all the room in the world to be shared and shown off.

As always I'm notorious for using fussy cut images and I just couldn't help myself with all these adorable little ones.  So you'll find them climbing up edges or sleeping on ledges, anywhere I could find to put them there they are and they make me smile every time I look at them.

I like to add booklets or waterfalls whenever possible because it just adds to the amount of photos you can place.  Here I have a little booklet that hold photos behind acetate spots as well as on the mats.  This little ones hold 6 photos plus a generous area for jotting down some memories to preserve.

There's lots to see that I won't show here or on Sa's blogpost but you'll find it all on the video below.  I'll also share how I prepped the pages and the supplies I used.  I have an older post that uses the little Girl Dress Shaped Mini that I'd love for you to revisit as well.

From Sa Crafters Store

Visit Sa Crafters at -

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bo Bunny Dreams of Autumn Wide Spine Mini

a Country Craft Creations Design Team Project

Hello crafty friends!  Today I'm so happy to share not only my mini with you but the beginning of a brand new video tutorial series showing the construction and the decoration of the mini.  I'm doing these videos page by page.  It means more videos but it also allows you to only look for the video that shows the construction or decoration of a certain page.  That way you can easily skip the videos that aren't pertinent to what you want to know.  Also, as always, I'll have the complete walk through video so you can see all the how to's and just see what I made.  That's the video that will be listed at the bottom of this blog post.  I have the first four How-To videos uploaded and will turn those live as well all grouped together in a new Playlist called Wide Spine Mini Tutorial Series  Hopefully I've found something for all of you.  If you are a newbie then the videos are presented in such a way that they will be easy for you to follow along allowing you to make your very first mini.  Don't forget I'm only a message away if you get stuck!  So go for it, make your own mini today.  It's so much fun!

This mini measures 6"x7" with a 5" spine, thus the name Wide Spine Mini.  I like using a wide spine this way because the mini actually lays flat on the spine when open.  It allows for an enormous amount of bulky embellishment or hoards of photos to be added.

In order to expand and contract as the contents of the mini grow I choose to use a three-color braided and tied satin ribbon closure.  The three colors of fall just complement the colors of the mini so well.

There are 7 pages in this mini and each page has a 1/2" gusset to allow so much room for all your goodies.  I won't be able to share each page and all the special add ons, flip outs, tuck ins here but they all be shared on the video along with the video construction of the basic page and then a video showing the decoration of each page.  Don't feel you'll be tied to this fabulous paper line it can easily be adapted to any paper collection you're in love with at the moment.  I did this same style of mini, with 1/4" gussets and 14 pages for a wedding mini.  I loved it.  Because of the wide spine the pages still laid the same way.  Wonderful!  (so keep that in mind, by changing the width of the gussets you can easily add many more pages).

You'll find I used my trusty Cutter Bee scissors throughout this mini, fussy cutting lots of elements to use in different ways.  Here I took the bouquet of flowers in the pail and used them as a stopper for the flap.  I originally had intended the brad to act as a swivel to hold the flap closed but it just wasn't tight enough.  It was easily solved by added a magnet on back of the flowers and the including the belly band with a hidden magnet behind it.  There's always a way!

Included in my goodies from Tammy Merrill from Country Craft Creations was an Ephemera package which among many other things had a decorative mat with these gorgeous flowers on them.  I cut them out of the paper and used them throughout the book,  Here they adorn the flap on the left and act as a nice stopper to my cute foxy bookmark holder on the right.

Another of my favorite pages was again using parts from the Ephemera package.  This time I used the little banner for the flap on the left.  I added some leaves along the bottom.  Backing each section with a black Artisan paper from Country Craft Creations allows the elements, like the acorn, to pop.  I use a lot of the Artisan paper since it cuts and scores wonderfully and is the best paper for not cracking.  The mini was covered in the black and the pages are constructed with it.  It is my go to basic paper line.

I always like to look at paper and see what can I take out of it to use in a different way.  That's how the basket came to fruition.  I didn't think I'd be able to use the bicycle with the basket of fall goodies I was able to though as you'll see it became the inside front cover pocket.  I just loved the basket and fussy cut it from the bicycle, added a magnet behind and backed it with the black Artisan paper.  Later I found I could use the whole image on the front inside cover.  I took the part below the basket and attached it on three sides over the bottom paper.  Now I have a great pocket but I still have the whole image of this fall bicycle.  So always look at the images within your page and see what perhaps could be cut out and used somewhere else.  Sometimes the smallest of elements, when cut and backed, can create wonderful little embellishments elsewhere.

I also wanted to tell you to not discard the cover sheet, especially if it is the same weight paper as the cardstock.  Bo Bunny prints their name, the name of their collection and samples of all the papers included in the collection on a 12x12" flysheet for the front of the package.  It was wonderful, I cut it up and used it in numerous spots throughout the book.  Case in point, the little pocket stopper for the center section here is actually the Collection name from this front flysheet.  I'll share several other spots I used parts of this page.  It's like getting and extra sheet of decorative paper.  I wish all companies would use the same paper for this cover sheet often it's a shiny slick paper, this was perfect.

My friends there is just so much more to share with you but space prohibits me here.  Check out the video below for the walk through and if interested check out the Video Tutorial playlist.  I'll be adding the remainder of the videos over the next few days.  As always thank you for sharing your time with me!  I'll include links to Country Craft Creations and to all my social media site below the video.  I've also included my supply list with links to the store.  Don't forget relax, create and enjoy it will make your world such a happier place!

Supplies from Country Craft Creations

Please visit Country Craft Creations here -
you can also join the Facebook group
Scrapbookers of Country Craft Creations here -
Or Coffee Talk page here -

Visit me at A Soul's Heartbeat on