Summer Happiness MiniBook | Part 1

I know this post is a little late. I keep thinking, "maybe I should just wait and post the whole thing together...I'm only doing it one more month, right?" Sound familiar? Truth is, life and work have been busy and I need to let go of some of my perfectionism and just post it. Right?

So here we go.

My third project for Elle's Studio in July was a "Summer Happiness" minibook inspired by that cute Summer Happiness stamp and Gretchen Ruben's Happiness Project just to simply document what is making me happy this summer. To see more about the project you can check out the Elle's Studio site: click here.

I love the idea of a Happiness Project and was so inspired by Gretchen's post about "How will you make your own summer?" I'm currently doing a Summer Manifesto inspired by Ali Edwards, so initially I questioned whether I should even do this little mini book. As I've been working on it, I realized it's based more on observations than intentions. Sort of like a gratitude journal versus a goal setting album. Both can be excellent projects and worthwhile (at least for me.)

Okay, so for my mini album: the cover is a piece of thin birch plywood from a local hobby shop. I left mine raw and I love the color and feel of it. I've had this for over a year and am happy to finally put it to use. I had been saving it for a beach mini album, which didn't happen last year.

The idea for the wood came from Nicole Reaves and her beautiful December Daily. Also check out this beautiful seashore minibook from Martha Stewart. I simply cut the plywood down to 4x6 and then embossed the summer and 2013 from Elle's stamps with white Zing. I added that cute glitter star from Studio Calico on the front too and just love how it turned out.

By the way, I absolutely love the summer stamp set from the Saltwater collection. So useful even when it's not summer. This stamp below was my inspiration for the book. I initially thought of going neon, but the lighter pink felt more like I wanted it to. Am also currently slightly obsessed with the chipboard stars from Pink Paislee. Here I stitched a plain transparency and the light polka dot vellum paper together to create the pocket with the stars, a few sequins and a bit of small gold confetti. I embossed the summer happiness stamp using Zing embossing powder on the transparency.

Here I used a glassine envelope and a tag with Summer 2013--card from the Elle's Studio June kit-- to create an intro page. The chevron transparency is from Alison Kreft.

I stitched the glassine envelope on and then glued the small polka dot bag onto the back with another one of the Elle's Studio cards--this one is from Saltwater. Here I used it explain what the book is about and the inspiration from Gretchen Rubin. 

Then I just started adding my items. What I did was create a two page spread (meaning a left side and a right side) with a vellum or transparency or something else in between for the number. Think December Daily meets 30 Lists meets Summer mini book.

Number 1: the beach (these aren't in any particular order, just whatever I decided to use for each one.)

I used a ticket from our trip to Stewart beach. Love including some ephemera like that.

 Number 2: my awesome niece Mckayla

Number 3: my daughter

Number 4: Taking time to enjoy the sweet things in life

Number 5: Road Trips

I stamped right on a transparency using the summer stamp to create this divider.

a closer look at the journaling above and the stamping on the transparency below.

Thanks for looking! For more info, check out my gallery at Elle's Studio!

How will you create or observe your own happiness this summer? Would love to hear!

Also wanted to note: Polaroid photos are from Persnickety Prints. I had them printed on linen paper and I adore the feel of these. Perfect for the look I was going for. The texture makes it tricky to stamp on though. They have lots of paper options and I might try the fine art paper next time. 

For more information about "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin click here

Will be back after the August reveal to finish up! Enjoy the rest of your summer!


  1. So freaking inspiring and awesome! Absolutely love the look and feel of this album, and the theme. I actually read that post by Gretchen Rubin early in the summer, and I put 5 books on my pleasure reading list and I'm plowing through them! I also finished her book "The Happiness Project" in July. What a coincidence! :-)

    1. Thanks girl!! I would love to get back to pleasure reading. Maybe next summer! :) I'm not totally finished with it, but am listening to it in my car. Very inspiring--says she who should have been in bed an hour ago to get more energy! :) Thanks so very much!! It's one of my favorites and I'm liking that I'm just taking my time with it and seeing where it goes. Hoping it will help inspire more changes, the biggest thing I learned this summer was the importance of family time. Thank you again!! You are awesome!!

  2. You do the prettiest minis. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thank you!! That is so kind of you to say!! I really appreciate it!

  3. What a beautiful mini, Annette! I absolutely love those transparent page separators. Great idea!

    1. Thank you!! I've always loved those since I followed along with Ali Edwards one year for December Daily and did that. I didn't do it that way this past year and missed it! So, I was excited to try it again. Pretty easy to make your own too with stamps!

  4. oh beautiful Annette! So glad you decided to share :)

  5. I am going to share this on my FB page and, having read the HProject book, appreciate all the time you took to do the book and share it. I wish the photos were a bit more vibrant on the blog. I am no techie but there should be a way the post could do more justice to your artistic effort.

    1. Thank you! I'm still working through the book, as I am with my current project. Was inspired by the fact that Gretchen encourages people to do their own Happiness Projects and collaborate with others. Mine might be a little different at this time, but I'm still loving it and I think it will help me make some changes too. Thanks for the feedback on the photos. Had some issues with lighting trying to get them photographed before they were due for the reveal...I've gone back and taken some detail shots of the beginning photos, but I just decided to go with these. Will keep working on getting better shots...that's definitely a work in progress! Thanks again!

  6. This is an amazing mini Annette! I just love the colors and the size - so awesome!!

  7. It is just beautiful, Annette.
    Ronnie xo