Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Big Reveal–Mystery Project Complete at Last–Floral Mini-Album about my Mum

Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the uncovering of my mystery project that I’ve been keeping hidden since January will be glad to hear that it has now gone to its new home, and I can show it to you at last. It’s a mini-album celebrating the long life of my mum, who died on 9th December 2017 aged 96.

This post will contain a selection of the final photos of the project, and the video of the flip-through that I made on Tuesday evening. Following on later will be a succession of posts describing the making of it from beginning to end, which will take some time even if I upload them on a daily basis, particularly as I am due to go into hospital next Wednesday so there will be a break during that time.

I have made two almost identical copies of this album, one as a gift for Mum’s best friend, and the other for us to keep. The only thing I have changed is the addition of her name in place of “Mum” in the one for our friend. This project has taken two months to complete.

If you have seen the various sneak peeks I’ve been tempting you with since I started, you might like to see if you can recognise any of them! The Flora containers with all the little bits of paper in them were the many photos and pieces of text, printed out and cut up and sorted into separate containers for each page.

I created a variety of backgrounds, some from scratch, and the others with varying degrees of alteration on papers from a stack I’d had in my stash for many years, which I didn’t actually like, and I decided it was time to use it! Until now I hadn’t had the knowledge of how to improve it so it was useable. Only a few of the papers were suitable to be used unaltered, and I struggled with those that I did alter, because the surface of the paper was slightly waxy and at first it resisted the inks until sufficient layers had been built up.

I obviously didn’t use all of the huge quantity of flowers that I made, but I needed to have enough of the different colours and shapes so I’d have plenty to choose from as I embellished each page. The remaining flowers will go in my stash to be used on other projects – a nice variety of colours to choose from!

Processes involved in the creation of this project were various inking techniques, die-cutting, cutting with my Cougar cutting machine, desk-top publishing on the computer, matting and layering, stamping, hand-embossing, drawing, making pop-ups and mechanicals, flower making, masking, punching, fussy-cutting and stencilling. Materials used included printed papers, plain cardstock, gold mirror board, mounting board, various glues (mostly double-sided tape, ATG, Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive and hot glue), Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Distress Stains, marker pens, UTEE, Stickles, liquid pearls, brads, magnets, threads and yarns, Infusions, Perfect Pearls. Equipment included my Cougar cutting machine, Cuttlebug, Envelope Punch Board, miscellaneous punches and stamps, stencils and masks, pens, coloured pencils, paper trimmer, Stanley knife, cutting mat, various scissors, heat guns, hot glue gun… There is probably more but that’s all I can remember for now!

I used Kathy Orta’s “Hidden Hinge” binding system for this album.

Anyway – enough chat! Here it is.

Floral Mini-Album

A mini-album about my mum’s life

This is an interactive album which on the surface appears to be a series of colourful pages embellished with flowers, but as you explore the various flaps, tags, pull-outs etc., its story is revealed.

This is the front cover.

01 Front Cover

Inside the front cover is an automatic waterfall mini with pictures of Mum’s early life. The pages turn as you pull the tab at the bottom.

02 Inside Front Cover and Page 1

03 Waterfall Mini Page 1

08a Reverse of Page 1 Small Tag Blurred

There is an opening at the outer edge of each page, with a pull-out full-sized tag, with photos and text, beginning with a family tree.

10a Page 1 Page Tag Being Pulled Out Blurred

The second page concentrates on Mum’s service in the Women’s Land Army during WWII, and page 3 is about her marriage and early family life.

12 Pages 2 and 3

15 Page 2 Magnetic Strap Open

17 Page 2 Reverse of Small Tag

18 Page 2 Flap Open

20 Page 2 Page Tag Being Pulled Out

23 Detail of Page 3 Top Embellishments

25a Page 3 Flap Open Blurred

27a Page 3 Page Tag Blurred

Pages 4 and 5 deal with Mum’s musical life.

28 Pages 4 and 5

33 Page 4 Small Tag Front

34 Page 4 Small Tag Back

35 Page 5 Small Tag Front

36 Page 5 Small Tag Back

32 Page 5 Pop-Up Cover

Under the flap at the bottom of page 5 is a piano keyboard pop-up.

38 Page 5 Piano Keyboard Pop-Up

39 Page 4 Page Tag Being Pulled Out

42a Page 5 Page Tag Blurred

Page 6 is the most interactive of the album and deals with many of Mum’s interests and favourite things. Page 7 is about her passion for ornithology.

43 Pages 6 and 7

It will be easiest to see how all the interactive bits work by watching the video.

45 Page 6 Underside of Top Flap

50 Page 6 Bottom Flap Closed

51 Page 6 Underside of Bottom Flap

55 Page 6 Centre Section Flaps Closed

55 Page 6 Centre Section Flaps Open

56 Page 6 Page Tag Being Pulled Out

58 Page 7

59 Page 7 Flap Underside

The large pull-out tags for pages 7 and 8 contain all the miscellaneous photos there was no room for in the rest of the album.

64a Page 7 Page Tag Blurred

72a Page 8 Page Tag Blurred

Page 8 and the inside of the back cover.

65 Page 8 and Inside Back Cover

Page 8 contains the second pop-up in the album.

69 Page 8 Pop-Up

Inside the back cover is a holder for a CD of Mum’s favourite music, which was also played at her funeral.

73 Inside Back Cover

75 Inside Back Cover CD Front

76 Inside Back Cover CD Back

Finally, the back cover and the spine.

77 Back Cover

78 Spine

And now for the video.

I am sorry to have kept everyone in suspense for so long with this project but you can see how much work was involved, and I couldn’t reveal it until it had been given.

Subsequent posts will deal with its construction from start to finish, and there will be more information in those posts. As you can imagine, I have drafted a lot of posts about this over the two-month period. I am very happy to have completed the whole project before I go into hospital next week, and have a clear desk to return to once I am feeling up to it.

I’ve lived and breathed this project for two months and it feels very strange to have completed it at last. I no longer have any excuse for neglecting all the other things I should have been doing!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

WOYWW 459 Because of this… we have this…

Because of this…

04 Heavy Snow Falling

We have this…

WOYWW 459 21-3-18

An empty desk.

Unfortunately the snow made our arrangements for Monday quite impossible so I am very sorry to have to report that the Big Reveal of my Mystery Project has had to be postponed. I know several of you have been waiting with Bated Breath (or Extreme Boredom?) to get this over and done with, but it Can’t Be Helped.

However, barring anything else going wrong, if you check back later tomorrow, I should be able to Take Off the Wraps at Last – I did manage to finish the project on Sunday night, and having the extra few days’ grace has meant that I’ve even made a Video for your Delectation and Delight.

So hang in there, folks, it really won’t be long now!!!!!

Other news – also barring anything else going wrong, I am set to go into hospital a week today for my operation. I shall try and get a WOYWW blog post done in advance. I’m really hoping there will be no postponement this time but knowing the NHS it’s almost a given, it seems…

Here are my other snow picture from last weekend’s part 2 of the snow double whammy that hit our area this early spring.

Taken on Sunday 18th March:

01 Snow on Kitchen Patio

02 Boxes etc in Kitchen Patio Covered with Snow

My hubby’s wonderful kitty defences under the weight of snow – some of the brackets actually bent, so he will need to get out there and do some repairs before the kitties’ Great Release into the Garden.

03 Kitty Defences Covered with Snow

05 Snow on Flat Patio

06 Snow on Back Steps

Taken on Monday 19th March:

That little dimple in the middle of the lawn is the water feature my hubby made me for my birthday last year!

01 From Bedroom - Funny Water Feature

Kitty defences bowing down under the strain.

02 Kitty Defences from Study

03 From Flat

Icicles on the satellite dish. No interruption in TV reception, thank goodness.

See how the snow is coming through the kitty defences like a sieve – little squares of snow eventually started dropping down!

04 Icicles on Satellite Dish

This time around, the snow consisted of large soft flakes which initially melted on landing, and we thought we were going to get away with it, but because the temperature was so low, it quickly settled and got quite deep, but not compacted, and we didn’t have the drifting we had last time. It’s hung around for much longer than we expected. A couple of days’ sunshine is gradually getting rid of it.

There is still snow about, but considerably less, and the roads are now all fine. Let’s hope that’s the last of it. I think it’s incredibly beautiful and quite magical, but it does cause a lot of disruption!

I remember my dad telling me several years ago when they were living in Cambridge, renowned for suffering the full onslaught of bitter east winds (I remember very severe winters there when I was a child) that he heard a local lady speaking on the radio, saying that the cold weather was the result of that bitter wind “blowing straight over from the Urinals.”

Check back late afternoon/evening tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll have something to show you that will make all your patience worthwhile.

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