Sunday, December 16, 2007

Accordion Photo Albums

I just finished three accordion-style photo albums for my brothers, inspired by a recent segment on Martha Stewart's craft show on DIY. Mine are similar, with my own take. Want instructions? Okay!

1. I cut two pieces of cardboard for each album, each a generous 6" x 8". Using an archival glue stick, I glued on some batting to cover one side of each piece of cardboard and trimmed to size. Then I laid the cardboard, batting side down, on a piece of dupioni silk fabric, and trimmed to about 1/2" to 3/4" out from each edge. I glue-sticked the edges of fabric, folded down a triangle at each corner over the cardboard, then pressed down all the sides so that it looked smooth and neat. These will be the album covers.

2. Luckily I happened to have some sheets of watercolor paper that were 30" x 22". First I scored lines (Martha used a bone folder but I couldn't find mine, so I used another sharp plastic tool) into the paper, long edge to long edge at 6" intervals. It was easy to do using the same 6"x 18" wide ruler that I use with my rotary cutter on fabric. Then I folded along the scored lines like an accordion. After that, I cut an 8" x 30" strip. It will have five 8" x 6" sections. You can get two strips per sheet, with a 6" strip left over.

3. Are you with me so far? Good. Go get your album covers. Spread glue on the outermost 6" x 8" section with your glue stick, and press one album cover over it firmly. Now spread glue on the other outermost 6" x 8" section, on the other side of the strip, and press the other album cover over it firmly. Look at the photos to see how it should look. Fold album closed, place under some heavy books to dry overnight.

4. I found something called a "Collage Pad" by Provo Craft, available at Michael's, with twenty sheets of 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" handmade papers. I cut them in half and glued one down in each folded section, alternating placing them higher and lower in the spaces.

5. You will need eight 4" x 6" photos per album. I used four photos of my mother on one side, and four of my father on the other side. I chose to trim off any borders. (A paper cutter is a time-saver during steps 4 and 5.) Then I attached the photographs to the album sections, overlapping the handmade papers, using archival photo corners. Look at the photograph to see placement.

6. I rubber stamped a large leaf pattern on the album covers to make them a little more arty. There are all sorts of things that could be done - embroidery, iron-on applique, etc.

I am not a "scrapper." My albums may look minimal compared to what an expert scrapper would do, but I am happy with the results.

My dad had Alzheimer's, and my mother has Alzheimer's. These accordion albums will remind my brothers that our parents used to be vibrant people. My only regret is that I didn't make one for myself. (I will, I swear.)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Book Signing at Soft Expressions; Ornaments at Folk Tree

The book signing at Soft Expressions was yesterday, and it was really fun. Four of us were there to sign Embellished Mini Quilts: author Jamie Fingal, me, Terry Waldron and Stacy Hurt. In addition to the book signing, there is a special exhibit of embellished small quilts in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit will be up for December and January, so you are welcome to come check it out, as well as the book and Sharla Hick's fabulous store, which caters to art quilters: Soft Expressions, 1230 N. Jefferson St. #M, Anaheim, CA 92807,

Here's a photo with me, Jamie, Terry and Stacy at the book signing.

Between jury duty and a trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving, November just zoomed by for me! Now it's December, and the holidays are in full swing. I went to an annual ornament exchange today. This is an easy exchange, because we each only have to make one ornament, and we get to take home a special, homemade ornament. This time I brought a blue fiber art ball to give (I think it's pictured in an earlier post, partly done), and I scored a beautiful table runner made by Mickey Berg. It's very colorful, and reversible to boot!

I also wanted to remind you about the handmade ornament exhibit/sale that I am participating in at the Folk Tree, 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105. There are handmade ornaments made by over 25 artists, available until December 31. The regular hours are M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5.