Isle of Dogs . . .

Dog 1

It's October 1 and that means another challenge from the Mini Album Makers Challenge blog. Our sponsor this month is Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

Join us for free classes and enter your own mini album for a chance at a grand prize from our sponsor.

My book this month is Isle of Dogs:

The minute I saw this book at Good Will I knew it was meant for me. We have rescues and my son and daughter-in-law have rescues. And when everyone is together the rescues outnumber the people and craziness ensues.

I wanted to make a mini-book out of this and decided to take the original pages out and insert signatures.

Remove the pages from the book:

You can do this in 2 easy steps, reserving the pages to either read later or use in another art project.

When choosing a book, make sure the signatures are not glued to the book spine. Otherwise, it's almost hopeless trying to get the pages separated from the covers.

Book A

Pull the front cover back, away from the book pages. You'll expose what's called the end papers. The end papers connect the signatures to the front  back covers. 

Book B


Using a craft knife, carefully, cut down the length of the end papers - between the front cover and the first signature. Make sure you're not slicing through the cover or spine.

Book C

 Next, pull the back cover towards the front cover to expose the spine. Using your craft knife, slice down the back end papers.

Book D

You will end up with all book pages intact to save for later and a book cover in tact to use for a project.

Book 1
Use decorative paper to cover the inside of the front & back cover as well as the spine. 

I used 3 signatures for this project. 

A signature is a group of papers that are stitched (or glued) together to form one section of a book. It's called a signature because . . . back in the day when books were written by hand, each finished section was signed by the author or whomever did the writing/copying. 

Most books have several signatures. This one has 3 signatures.

When binding books by hand, since we don't usually have access to professional binding machines, each signature should have about 3 folded sheets of paper or cardstock. Of course you can use more, but that could result in ruffling - when the pages don't quite meet evenly. Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes not. It depends on the look you're going for. 


Dog 3

For this book, I used 3 sheets of 8.5 X 11 cardstock, folded in half to get a signature with each page measuring 8.5" tall X 5.5" wide. As seen in the photo above, all 3 signatures were put together with a 3 hole pamphlet stitch. 

It's the same stitch I showed here: Pamphlet Stitch  -  this time using only 3 equally spaced holes. 

Dog 4

I attached the signatures one to another with a cardstock hinge.

  1. Cut a piece of cardstock the same height as the signature and 1.25" wide. 
  2. With the 1.25" up against a score board, score at 1/2" from either side. This will leave a 1/4" gusset.
  3. Add score tape to each of the 1/2" sides, making sure to not put tape over the 1/4" gusset.
  4. Attach one signature to the front of the hinge and one signature to the back of the hinge (see photo above). Note the 1/4" gusset is not attached to any signature.
  5. Once the 3 signatures are hinged together, attach an additional hinge to the first page of signature 1 and the last page of signature 3.
  6. Attach the first and last signatures to the inside of your book.

Time now to decorate with your favorite papers and embellishments. 

Dog love

Thanks for visiting my post for Mini Album Makers Challenge blog. See you next month!

WOYWW September 27, 2017 . . .

So much fun playing with a soon-to-be envelope mini offered by Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. 


Playing with the upcoming envelope album and Graphic 45's Olde Curiosity Shoppe. Everything about Graphic 45's designs are so fun to work with. From bold patterns to tiny fussy cutting, the G45 collections have it all and are always inspiring.

Here's one of the pages I'll be using for the sample:



And in no time at all, this occurred:


So much fun today with all these elements, papers, embellishments and inks.  

Posting on WOYWW September 27, 2017

Sharing a Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Halloween project . . .

At the end of this month, I'll be teaching this project at a private class. Can't wait and thanks Joanne for the invitation!

House in a box 1

I'm crazy about the witch weather vane Gina designed specifically for this workshop. 

House in a box 2

There's a house book inside:

House in a box 3

If you're going to my  October 2017 Girlfriends Getaway Crop

you will see this and many more samples using  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

And, of course, shop 'til you drop all weekend at the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts booth.

Something brand new - Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog . . .

The blogging world has a brand new blog:

Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog

and I get to be part of this exciting team.


If you're into mini books, this is the blog to follow!


all instructional


all sharing


all free

with prizes each month from your favorite manufacturers.

Our sponsor this month:

Seth Apter

Since this is my first blog post for the

Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog

I thought I would share the very first mini-book stitch I ever learned.

It's called a pamphlet stitch.

Want to learn how to add a pamphlet stitch to the portfolio above?


I began with a ready made portfolio similar to this one:


I like to add pages to the folios.

To do so, I use:

Ruler & Pencil

Craft Pick or Awl

Wax Linen Thread

Large Eyed Needle

Bulldog Clips

  •  Choose the paper/papers you want to add to what will become the spine of the portfolio. I chose to use some craft heavy wrapping paper I had on hand. You can also use file folders as your inserts.
  • Cut the paper so that you have the height you want and the width can be folded in half. You will be stitching on the fold line. The height and width of each paper can be different as long as it can be folded. In some portfolios I've added folded tags, scrapbook papers, envelopes etc.
  • Cut a piece of cardstock that is 2" wide and the same height as your papers. This will become your stitching pattern. Fold the cardstock in half - measuring 1" wide X the height of your paper.
  • Using a pencil and ruler, find the center of the cardstock and make a pencil mark. Next make a pencil mark in even increments up and down that center fold line. This folio is quite tall so I used many pencil marks. You can use as many as you like but no fewer than 3 marks.
  • Take the portfolio and fold on the score marks as shown in the photo below. Do this on both the right and left side of the folio. Mba
  • Using bulldog clips, carefully match the center/folded line of your stitching pattern to the center folds of your pages. Make sure the folded lines of your papers are lined up one on top of the other with your pattern on top of that.  The bulldog clips are used to keep everything lined up so that nothing shifts.
  • Attach the bulldog clips to the center line on the portfolio, matching folded lines of the papers to the folded lines of the folio.
  • Mb1
  • Use an awl or craft pick and insert the sharp end into the pencil marks through the pattern the papers and the center line of the folio. You are creating a stitching pattern on all.
  •  Once the holes are made, take away the stitching pattern but keep the bulldog clips in place so as not to have the papers move from the center line of the folio.
  • Take a piece of waxed linen thread that's approximately 2.5 times the height of the book. Thread a needle without tying a knot. Do not double the waxed linen thread.
  • Mb2
  • Begin at the center hole and in the center page. Take the needle and thread and poke it from the inside center hole all the way through to the outside of the portfolio's center hole. Leave a tail of about 2" to 3". You will use this to tie later.
  • Using an in-and-out type of stitch, follow up along the holes, one to another, in and out of the stitching holes.
  • Mb3
  • Once you get to the top hole, continue the same stitch all the way to the bottom of the pattern. Then back up again to the middle. You will end your stitching on the inside center page, at the same hole you started with.
  • Mb4
  • Make sure all the stitching lines are taut and once you have, tie a knot at the center. Cut off any leftover thread, leaving about a 1/2" of the thread.


Your stitched pages are now secure in the portfolio

and you're ready to decorate.

Meet my team mates and see what they're creating:

Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog

and see what

Seth is giving away!



You've asked and now I can deliver . . .

Many of you have seen my mini-books. Some I teach in stores. Many I'm not able to because of class time restraints.  Those types of minis are always interactive with popular items like flips, pockets, folds, waterfalls and inserts. 

Introducing Book #1: Fairies


I've found a way to bring new mini-book designs to you with a very reasonable price tag.

You may know Gina Hubbard, owner of Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

We've partnered up to bring you some fascinating mini-books that are super interactive.

Book #1: Fairies is 8.5" tall X 6.75" wide with a 3.5" spine.

It has 6 pages, all interactive and all include a top pocket to add cardstock mats.

Use your own stash of paper and embellishments to decorate the cover and pages.


You may purchase these in one of two ways:

  • As a PDF pattern only
  • As a PDF pattern with pre-cut cardstock base pages and pre-cut pockets, flips and waterfalls. The pre-cut pages are available in black or kraft.

We're both so excited to be offering this to you.

PDF Pattern includes 25 pages of instructions with photos e-mailed directly to you:



Want to take a closer look at what I've done with Gina's design?  Take a look at this You Tube:

To purchase your very own pattern click this "buy it now" button:


PDF pattern (as described above) with pre-cut pages, pockets, flips and waterfalls.

Your choice of black or kraft cardstock pages:


These will ship priorty mail in a flat rate envelope.

Orders taken on a first available and will begin shipping Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Choose from black or kraft on the pull down menu below.





NOTE: This mini was decorated using 49&Market papers with some added vintage prints. Chipboard Laser Cuts available thru Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: butterflies; flowers; leaves; vines; swirls; borders.