[this entry migrated over from my old scrapblog...]
• Jan. 10, 2007 - An Envelope Album for a Baby Bunnie
This entry may be difficult for those of a more sensitive nature, because it's about a newborn baby who passed away last week.
Over the weekend I created another one of my little mini envelope albums. These little albums are fun and quick to make, they are easily portable, they use up scraps and leftovers, and they have a big *WOW* factor. Taking this Magic Scraps class at CKU was one of the only good things about that experience.
Last Friday a tiny little baby named Joseph lost his battle for life. He was born shortly before Christmas, and in his few weeks of life he had 19 surgeries to correct problems with his internal organs and his heart. The doctors worked like mad, his surgeon even coming in and performing emergency surgery on him on Christmas Eve, and many people prayed fervently for him, but to no avail.
His parents are such nice people and they give so very much to the community. I have run into them and the benefits of their involvement in our community many times this past fall. I met them in person briefly just before Thanksgiving, on their way to an OB appointment, and many people were so excited for them as they became parents to twins.
The whole thing was just so sad. Baby Joseph passed away on Friday and his wake and funeral were this past Monday, so I spent the weekend shopping for supplies and creating a little album of his life. Since I have never been through such a heartbreaking experience, I asked the scrapbookers on 2peas for some advice. Many women there chimed in with their own stories of losing a baby or child (one woman had lost triplets a few days after birth), of scrapbooking their own loss or of not being able to even look at pictures, of helping a relative or a friend through her loss, of creating scrapbooks for grieving parents, of what to include or not include, of what they would have wanted and what was helpful, and offered me poems and sayings and quotes they had saved for their own projects. I appreciated the advice so much and took most of it to heart.
Normally I would blur, but all these pictures are posted on the family blog.
I found this gorgeous watercolor paper with words at Creative Scrapbooks and More, the same LSS (local scrapbook store) where I buy my envelopes. I just loved the colors and I am a big fan of words. I already had the blue letter stickers, and the blue flowers by Jolee's went perfectly with the baby quote from my vellum Quote Stacks.
I still can't find my vellum tape, so I used silver mini brads to attach the vellum quote, and I adhered the Jolee's flowers to the bottom with glue dots to keep the vellum from curling up. Deciding on the cover layout was difficult because I had 3 elements I wanted to use and simply centering was not an option. I discovered at the funeral I inadvertently made a mistake on the dates, but since I just printed this out on the computer, a dab of Liquid Paper and a black pen with fix that error right up.
I also found the pale blue ribbon at the same LSS. I have lots of blue ribbon, but this ribbon had “Baby Boy” and little teddy bears printed on it, so I bought a yard to use for the card pulls.
I wish I could have done better with this first panel, since it is a picture of Baby Joseph’s little face. But for various design reasons, it did not work to use any patterned paper here. The metal plaque is from Die Cuts with a View. I had the little blue heart button in my stash already. I inked the edges of this panel with a copper inkpad, and as usual, I like the sense of depth that comes from inking. So I inked every other part of the album as well.
Any baby album should include a photo of the expectant mom looking hopeful and excited. I buy these wonderful copper word plaques at the LSS and use them often. The background pattern paper is from the same line as the blue/green paper on the cover, using different words. The copper inking helps tie this color scheme to the rest of the blue album. To the left is the twins’ ultrasound and another metal plaque from Die Cuts with a View. I am using silver and copper together, but I don’t care, I like them both. The parents had the most adorable nicknames for their unborn twins so I made sure to include them, along with the birth information. The font is called Litterbox and looks like a child’s writing.
I participated in a Secret Santa swap this past Christmas and my Secret Santa sent me two sets of clear vellum quotes stickers, one on Vacations and one on Family. I used some of the Family stickers on Christmas Day to make a quick gift album, and I used more here. I definitely wanted to include the Pages of Remembrance sticker in the album, and the Family portrait sticker with the one picture I had of the whole family. I also used baby blue brads and another blue heart button.
One of the advantages of the envelope album is that some contents can be hidden and not necessarily seen every time it is opened. The ladies on 2peas affirmed that the album should include the medical issues in Joseph’s short life. The family blog included these graphics on his medical conditions, and also the photo of his surgeon. I prefer to alternate cards covered in patterned paper with plain cards. I used the plain cards for the medical information and the patterned cards for more pictures.
I really wanted to leave the backs of the cards blank for letters to the baby or other journaling written by his parents, or for pictures I did not have that they might have wished to include. But as I was leaving for the wake on Monday, I noticed a very important photo that I had forgotten to include — Joseph on the ECMO machine where he spent his life. I sat down and added that photo to the back of one of the patterned cards, and then I also added photos I had left out to the backs of the others as well, to be consistent.
Two of the cards are covered with the same watercolor papers, and the third with a gorgeous pale blue paper I found at Hobby Lobby — paper with prayers and angel sculptures on it. I used silver heart brads as pulls on the patterned cards. Some of the medical graphics had very difficult-to-read labels (they were pulled from a website) so I re-did the labeling in Litterbox when I resized the graphics to fit on the cards.
Now I see I should have used a word sticker for hope in the same typewriter font as I used the other two words, because now it’s inconsistent. Okay! Letting that go now!
The ladies on 2peas advised to include the baby’s name as much as possible, so I included part of a picture of the nursery wall here. His parents had made his name out of altered wooden letters. One of the ladies on 2peas posted this poem too. I wish I could have fit the poem on the card with the toes picture, but it didn’t seem to look right.
The right envelope is covered with the blue paper with the angels and prayers on it, and a dark blue heart-shaped page jewel covers any cutting mistakes at the point of the envelope.
I deliberately turned the paper sideways here so the words ran in the opposite direction. I also had a silver metal plaque from Die Cuts with a View that said peace I could have used here, but the color of the copper plaque went with the tones of the photos, and also pairs up with the hope copper plaque I used on the outside of the album, so that doesn’t look like an accident.
Another poem from the ladies of 2peas, this one by Thena Smith. It was too long to fit, so I had to cut up the stanzas. Now I see I forgot to include the slip with the author’s name. Okay! Letting that go now!
I could not stay for the funeral. I saw the coffin coming and it was just so little and white. The size of a breadbox. The whole church full of people wearing blue and crying. Perhaps I am weak, but I needed to leave. I felt I was intruding on a very private moment. I just stopped for a quick second and said I was sorry and gave Joseph’s mommy his album. Then I looked at his angelic sister in her handmade white bonnet with the blue flowers, fast asleep in the crook of Daddy’s arm (she was so tiny! the smallest baby I have ever seen) and said how sorry I was. Then I left.
Hopefully Joseph’s Mom and Dad and sister will be able to look at the album someday and will be glad to have it.
This week I have been commissioned to make two blank albums on Pagan themes. I have already started them and I am not shopping any more. Apparently papers that include stars and moons are incredibly “out” right now because no one carries them (which I just found out by going to five stores looking for them). So next week I may have 2 more albums to post. I am itching to make some pages with my own pictures, just for me! I admit it, I could not go to 5 scrapbooking stores and not buy anything for myself. I have got some fantastic new items and I want to use them. For me. I found some paper with brick walls and graffiti — perfect for the urban, single, adult scrapbooker’s pictures! Do you know how hard it is to find non-kid themed papers?
But I am not itching to drag my stuff out of storage and make a big mess. I wonder if there is a happy medium. I don’t know… I am still teaching myself organic chemistry (by reading a very easy peasy book about it and checking my exercises with my old college roomie, who is not a chem professor), I just paid for my mountain dulcimer and am waiting for it to arrive, and work is so crazy we have been asked to come in on the holiday (Monday) and take a day off at some other time. In fact, it has taken me several days to write this post up because I have no time to mess around.
And spring is coming, which brings with it trying to sell, buy, move, and possibly letterbox.
Why is it that in the beginning of January I already feel swamped? Okay, back to finishing the new Texas program. And then...California! Those darn first graders are not going to teach themselves to read, now are they?
1. Photos 1-9: Photos of Joseph’s Baby Scrapbook. Taken by me. Jan 2007.
Comments on this post:
1.) Untitled Comment • Feb. 13, 2007
Posted by falwyn
What a lovely gift. I finally made a gift envelope album of my own, inspired by some of yours, it's on my blog if you care to look. Enjoying your blog, as always.
http:// falwyn.wordpress.com/2007/01/29/mini-envelope-album/ LINK Hope things are not TOO crazy, or at least that you take care of yourself... : )
2.) thank you! • Feb. 14, 2007
Posted by Me
Yours looks GREAT. And it gave me some new ideas too. I was bothered by how to make a closure for these albums but now I have an idea.
Have 2 more I just finished and want to post them. These 2 are blank ones a lady commissioned me to make for her, on 2 themes, nature and celestial.