ForeverJoy Designs

The Big Power of Mini Books!

That I LOVE this hobby of memory keeping is a well known, unfaltering, unmitigated, and all round universal truth.  Love it. Everything about it.  The creativity, the memory keeping, the collecting, the friends I have made as a result of it- (both online and off).  So, it is fair to say- I am always very enthusiastic about getting a block of time to scrap.  And that, my friends, is the catch 22 of scrapping for me.  I am so darn enthusiastic- there are SO MANY ideas in my head and in my notebooks and on my hard drive- that sometimes when I do get a chance to just enjoy my time scrapping- sometimes I am frozen by the flood-waters. A dear in the headlights.

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I have found it is important to keep moving forward though.  Sure, I could get lost in Pinterest or on Etsy until I “decide” what to do- but you and I both know that 2 hours and 2 cups of coffee will pass with nothing to show for it other that a few more pins or a wish list of purchases I really don’t need.

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My “go-bag” in these times of paralysis is a little basket of mini books I have and my box of morgue photos. (I wrote about those a few posts back- these are the doubles- the cut ups and cast offs that have a home in a little box on my shelf. It’s like a holding pattern for B list photos)

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Sometimes, when I can’t focus on doing something big- I can revive myself by finishing something small.  A tiny project like a mini book.  They can be done in about 30 minutes- they are fun to make, and always treasured.  The feeling of accomplishment I get after I complete this little gem always shakes me free of my overwhelm.  And most times, pour myself a second cuppa- and tackle the bigger project that I had set off to do in the fist place.
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Here are a few “mini book” rules I have set for myself to prevent this little endeavor from becoming overwhelming.
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I have a basket of things I can use for my minis.  Altoids tins I can fill with tiny pages- mini books I pick up from the craft store for a dollar, old children’s board books I can paint over. Nothing in this basket is too expensive- this way I don’t feel guilty about not creating something “worthy” of it’s price tag.
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I get my head straight.  This isn’t a project.  It’s a mini.  It’s not “week in the life” it’s more like “what’s inside my pocketbook today” or “the silly faces you make”.  It’s a quick glimpse of a memory.
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This really isn’t about products- it’s about being artistic and having fun.  I try to use my scraps on these guys. And paint.  mama loves her paint.  I may try a new technique here- like going monochromatic, or glimmer mist. Maybe some art journaling or stamping.  Embossing. I’m not afraid to try something new because if it comes out crummy- I can, um, put it in the “circular” file and no one will be the wiser.  I didn’t use up any of my good stuff, I tried something new, I had a little fun, and I learner- hey- that doesn’t work.  OK. No harm, no foul.  No one said every time we sit down to scrap we have to make a masterpiece.  Sometimes the process is more important than the result.
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But- when I make a little gem that does come out well, then I brag a bit.  I have a little basket in my office that I put these mini books in.  I want little hands to pick them up.  I want people to explore these random bits of memory and ephemera from my mind.  They are meant to be shared and enjoyed, like a good story.  So, for me, it’s important to keep them out in the open.
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 Now, I am at the point where I have lots of these bad boys, so I rotate them.  This way, there is always something fresh and new for my “fans” to look through when they visit me. 😉 And, I am faced with a new batch of concrete proof of my creativity.  It feels good looking at them all together. I made that.  And it’s pretty.  Yep.  Feels cool- and always gets you coming back for more!
here’s my basket full of mini goodness!


I painted this little mini book, added a  few pictures and scraps I had from another project, then added some journaling about the day. This is one of my little guy’s favorites- so it stays out all year.


Here is a mini I made with badge holders and a jump ring.  You just slip the photos into the badge holders and staple the establishments on top.  This book is a collection of photos of my boys and the lyrics of the Rascal Flat’s song, “I Wish”


This one was made with a little paint on top of old flash cards I had.  I journaled about a Cake decorating class I took with my big guy, Ryan.

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[…] One of my favorite tricks is to let a pop star do the hard work for me! I find song lyrics that go with my photo and add them into my layout. It creates instant mood and sometimes tells my story better than I can!  One of my favorite projects was a mini book a made years ago using nothing but spare photos and the lyrics to a song I love, My Wish by Rascal Flats.  You can see it here. […]