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Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Special Mini Album (My first!)

Hello, my cherished friends! As predicted, my little blog has been silent for a bit. This special project required a lot of time to come to fruition and I thank you for your encouragement along the way. :o) I've missed you and cannot wait to see what you've been up to!

I had it on my heart to create a mini album for 22-year-old Ashley, one of the recipients of May's I Feel the Love Project. She is battling her second form of cancer, which breaks my heart. She fought it off as a child, but 15 years later was diagnosed with a completely unrelated rare form of cancer. I badly wanted to make her something extra special. I hope she loves this and feels every ounce of love that I packed into it.

Because this is a picture-heavy post due to the nature of the project, I'll resist telling the tales I'd love to share... the reasons for the choices I made, the sappy inspirations, etc. All that truly matters is that my and God's love sparkle brilliantly through it. Hopefully that will be made clear from the pictures alone. :o)

Ready to see my first mini album?! It was a JOY to create, particularly since it is for such a worthy cause. I'll never know Ashley personally, but I like to think we're connected through my daily prayers for her.

99% of the designer papers in this album are from Graphic 45's Secret Garden collection, selected specifically for Ashley. I wanted to give her a beautiful garden. :o) The gorgeous shimmer I added to every flower and butterfly throughout does not show via photograph. This album is so very sparkly in person. Naturally! :o)
A better view of the spine covering is at the end of this post... I used a Crop-a-dile for the first time! *swoon*

This is the only time I'll show photo/journaling mats/tags. Most of the pages contain 2-3 that pull out, double-sided for extra storage of special moments.
Don't worry, I eventually ran out of time to show each page side-by-side. ;)

I couldn't resist sharing a close-up of this intricate fan. I adore it and hope Ashley does, too. It is a cut file from the Silhouette Online Store, which I adorned with some of my favorite things: rhinestones, crinkle ribbon, and a Wild Orchid Crafts rose.

Above is a garden gate, with the background paper one of my all-time favorites. I popped-up the embossed gate and set the photo mat just above the foam tape. This, and the lace lining one side, enables Ashley to switch out pictures whenever she likes. They nestle in nicely without requiring any type of adhesive.
My first gate-fold! The lacy heart opens up to reveal a decent sized photo mat, which is lined at the bottom with a border so she can swap out pictures.
A tab at the top pulls out a circular mat, which easily goes in and out of the frame that is popped-up only on the lower half. These Prima flowers are especially gorgeous in person, thanks to  their beautiful shades and a hefty dose of Shimmer Spritz. I went through ¾ of a bottle for this album. ;)
The sweet little envelope is a cut file from the Silhouette Store, which opens up to a tiny surprise. I tucked a note inside to remind Ashley how loved she is. :o)
And these goodies are stuffed into the main pocket. Scriptures and sunshiny words for her to keep in or out of the album. (I snuck presents into her present... ha!)

The last page, kept simple to hold a large mat for an extra special photograph. The butterfly is leaving a trail of sparkling love with a few rhinestone hearts. That glistening love extends far beyond this album.
I poured more into this project than anything I've previously done. Two bouts of cancer at only 22 is unacceptable. I've prayed for this gift to deliver healing love. And that waves of joy and grace overtake Ashley every time she holds this as she heals in His perfect love. She will beat cancer once again and will be filling this album with new pictures for decades to come. :o)

Thank you for fluttering on by! I wish you a sparkly weekend of love, blessings, and all things beautiful. :o)

Challenges entered:
 *Celebrate the Occasion~ Use a butterfly on any project
 *Craftin' Desert Divas~ Linky Part (Anything Goes with Ribbon/Twine)
 *Crafty Ribbons~ Anything Goes with Ribbon
 *Divas by Design~ Tie a Ribbon
 *Fab 'n' Funky~ For the Girls
 *Frosted Designs~ Punches (I used a few, including the spine border on each page)
 *Fussy and Fancy~ Bling it On
 *Love to Create~ Read All About It! (Book, bookmark, or something to do with reading)
 *Make It Monday~ Anything Goes
 *Simon Says Stamp~ Anything Goes


  1. Oh Karon!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all I missed you sooooo sooo much, I have been away myself... Your mini album emits the most warm beautiful feelings, certainly a refection of what went into it..I can't believe it is your first!!! You are a natural and I just love love love the way you binded it!!! Such gorgeous papers you choose specifically for Ashley. She will certainly be in my prayers as well. You are beautiful and trust me there is not a person in the world that wouldn't adore this album. It is so nice to see you my friend, Have a super day!!! LOTS and LOTS of hugs

  2. Oh my goodness!! Karen, this is the most beautiful mini album I have ever seen. It is clear to see the amount of love and effort you have put into every single detail.
    I love the papers that you have used and your detailing is amazing and totally gorgeous in every way.
    I am sure that Ashley will feel the healing love when she receive this very special gift made for her by a VERY special person.
    Take care of yourself Karen, sending you hugs and blessing
    Sue xx

  3. So gorgeous Karen and so adorable is this your so talented all the attention to detail shines through totally stunning enjoy your weekend x

  4. Pretty! Thanks for playing @ CTO!

  5. Oh this is stunning! Your work is amazing and beautiful!

  6. Lovely mini album, great design. Thanks for sharing with us at Fab'n'Funky this week. Good Luck.

    Pat xx

  7. fantastic project
    thanks for playing with us at fussy and fancy

  8. Well my sweetest friend, you have rendered me totally speechless!! I don't even know what say about this!! It is even more beautiful, more amazing than I imagined (and I have a vivid imagination!!) I would love to comment on each page, but I would run out of adjectives to describe your amazing work!! I love every single, amazing, gorgeous detail!! What a special gift this will be for Ashley!! I have to keep scrolling up to look at it again...just stunning!! It was well worth the time and effort you put into making is a masterpiece (I knew it would be and you never disappoint)!! I hope you are able to rest now and relax and enjoy the first weekend of June!! Hugest hugs my dear friend :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  9. Well my friend,
    This Is what you've been up to?....LOL..
    It's so BEAUTIFUL!! Every page as a very special detail that she will always appreciate. I appreciate that you always take your time on a project that means so much.
    The details of the flowers, pearls and lace makes this mini album extra special and very SWEET!
    What I loved most is the little envelope with a surprise.....The scriptures. That immediately touched my heart....We should all have a little pocket with those beautiful words so that when we need hope or encouragement or are battling with any earthly circumstance, we would be able to reach to our little pocket and read (memorize) those words and it will lift our spirits up, give us hope and Feel the Lords love.
    You took my heart and filled it with so much joy because of the love you put into this beauty.
    It's always a joy to stop by and just read your words....
    Sending my love, hugs & smiles to you my angelic friend,

  10. My dear bloggie friend, this has to be one of the most inspiring and beautiful creations I have ever seen. The papers, design, embellishments and once again your heartfelt time and purpose shines through. What an amazing treasure gift you have created. Sure to put a smile on Ashley's face and a warm glow in her heart. thank you for sharing this wonderful gift and also thank you for the wonderful comments and support that you have left on my blog. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Hugs, Karon.

  11. Karen, we just don't have words. This mini album is beyond description. The love you pour into your designs is so apparent. Ashley will be touched by this album and enjoy it for the treasure that it is. You are an angel on earth!!! Thank you again for all that you do each month for the I Feel the Love Project. We feel your love!!
    ~Madison and Cindy

  12. OH My Goodness Karen! This actually took my breath away! This was such a blessing to me and this was not even my gift! I know that Ashley will be truly blessed by receiving this special labor of love. I am blown away at the amazing amount of detail you poured into this project! It is simply stunning and I am sure that the photos do not even do it justice. I have been a follower for quite some time and have always admired your work and I do believe that this is your crowing glory!
    Have a wonderfully blessed weekend,
    Valerie Martin

  13. This is such a beautiful mini album. So very glad you shared it with us at Frosted Designs! Hope to see you play along with us again.

  14. This is an amazing album. It is stunning and you can see the love you have poured into it. A wonderful gift for Ashley

  15. I´m totally speechless, this album is absolutely beautiful and such a precious gift! So much fantastic and lovely details to explore and your use of different dies and design papers are fab. Well done and I`ll pray for Ashley´s recovery.

    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us this week at Love to Create.
    Best of luck and we'd love to have you visit again!

    Hugs Mian
    Love to Create Design Team Member

  16. Oh my gosh, Karen! This mini album is perfection! Each and every page is amazing. I can't get over all the details you added. I especially love the fan and the garden gate! Ashley is going to treasure this and she will see all the love and effort you put into each page! :)


  17. What a wonderful, stunning creation - so inspiring - thanks for sharing for the Fab 'n' Funky 'for the girls' challenge, Hazel, Guest Designer x

  18. It's a wonderfuly creation and I can understand your proudness from this one! Smiles.

    This is simply stunning and your post was just wonderful.

    Thank you so much for joining us at Crafty Ribbons and Good Luck!

    Karen - DT.xx

  19. WOW! You did an amazing job on your mini-album! Absolutely gorgeous work! Thank you for joining us this week at Love to Create Challenge Blog.
    Ruza, LTC Designer

  20. FABULOUS creation! I absolutely adore this project! Thanks for joining us this week at Love to Create!

    LTC DT
    Creative Card Crew DT
    Crazy Challenge DT
    Anyone for Anya DT

  21. This is so AMAZING Karen! I LOVE the beautiful papers and all the fun and gorgeous elements! You filled this album with so many outstanding, I can't believe this was your first totally rocked this!! I hope you make more of these because this is so GORGEOUS Karen! You are so talented and absolutely LOVE your work!
    Hope you have a fantastic evening my friend!
    Sherrie K

  22. I can't tell you how much this has touched me. Such beautiful work and such a heartfelt reason. You are right two bouts of cancer at the age of 22 is unacceptable!! I pray that a cure is found soon. This is one of the best projects I have ever seen!! Thanks for sharing with us at Love to Create Challenge. Hope to see you again soon.
    Zenita (aka Scrappinwith'Z)
    DT member Love to Create Challenge

  23. Karen, your mini album is truly STUNNING!! Gorgeous papers and details on every page!! I am sure Ashley will treasure this forever. Thank you for sharing with us at Love to Create Challenge!!

    Keeping Ashley in our prayers for a bright future ahead!!

    Jacki - Owner of Love to Create Challenges

  24. OMGosh I am totally speechless this is amazing I juts did one today for my post with secret garden. If Ashley just doesn't heal miraculously from just touching this album with all the love and albeit prayers that went into, I would be surprised . What a joy to look at. I think all the posts above mine speak the way I feel I willl leave the writing to the pro s
    Have a very blessed day, my friend
    DIANA L.

  25. A beautiful mini with a beautiful message - I am sure Ashley will enjoy it and cherish for years!

    I am yet to make my first album and am postponing the day I start it, as I am afraid my attempt won't be as successful!

    Thanks for joining us at Divas by Design this week. Hugs, Mirella

  26. Gorgeous!!! Thanks for participating in our LOVE TO CREATE challenge!! Hope to see you again next week!

    A Little Bit O' Paper

  27. MY SUNSHINE!!!

    SQUEEEEEEEEE!!! *gives you the squishiest sparkliest huggler EVER because you have the most gorgeous heart EVER*

    I am truly the proudest sis alive, Sunshine. Getting to observe this masterpiece come together piece by piece and inch by inch was truly the most incredible blessing imaginable. I wish there were words Sunshine that could express just how much pride my heart feels today and how honoured I am to have been able to witness you and God's teamwork in this process. Together sis, you will help make healing possible for sweet Ashley. The concrete aspect of this album is just one component of the entire gift. The heart and soul and love that is packed into every tiny bit of it is equally as magnificent. You are truly a hero sis. Watching you design and create this was an experience like no other as I got to witness the power of God's love in action through your work. God bless you for being His forever chosen one sis. Your faithful service is a blessing like no other.


    *sparkling super flutterby squishies*
    ~~~ Christina (aka your #1 album fan forever) :)

  28. Lovely creation love all the detail and thanks for sharing with us at Divas By Design with our tie a ribbon challenge

  29. Wow. This is a gorgeous album with so much detail. Anyone would love to have it. Thanks for playing along with us in the the Anything Goes Challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog this week!

  30. I love mini albums. They are soooo fun to make and they also make a wonderful gift (imho). I would have never guessed this was your fist. It's stunning! xx

  31. Karen your mini album is exceptional in so many ways. All of the papers, dies, and embellishments are truly beautiful. It is the thought and love behind it however that impresses me the most. What a blessing this will be to Ashley!

  32. Karen, as always this is beyond GORGEOUS. I wish I knew how to make one... you are so amazing my friend...hugs from ukiah

  33. Congratulations Karen you've been hand picked in our top 5 over at Fussy and Fancy :-) Please pop over to our blog to pick up our badge for your blog.

    xx Sazzle xx


Thank you for leaving some love! Have a beautifully blessed day. :o)

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