I know I’ve been going on a bout this birthday a bit, but Arty’s an only child, so I don’t know what to tell you. This is how we roll.

arty's 4th birthday mini album 01

There were a lot of great photos from the celebrations – way more than I could happily fit into the regular project life album, so of course I reached for my binder rings and started putting together a mini book.

arty's 4th birthday mini album 04

This guy measures 6 x 6 inches, which is a great size. Full page pictures are nice and bold, but you don’t lose too much when you shrink others down to 3 x 3 in order to fit multiple images on one page.

I like the checkerboard effect of having a couple of these 3 x 3 pages opposite each other too.

arty's 4th birthday mini album 03

Keeping everything square made the whole thing insanely easy. I kept embellishments simple and on theme: pink, hearts, Hello Kitty. (Why? What’s your boy into…?). The only thing I did that could be considered in any way fussy or time consuming was to use Photoshop to make some Hello-Kitty specific papers. I did one with her bow, and one with the “Hello” form her logo. It took about 20 mins, but only because I fudged it a couple of times before I got it the way I wanted it.

arty's 4th birthday mini album 02

Here’s a short walkthrough video if you want to see the whole thing:

Arty’s 4th bday mini from Essie Ruth on Vimeo.


He loves it – he keeps pulling it down from the shelf, taking it over to his bean bag, and sitting there flicking through the pages saying “I LOVED those burgers… The piniata was so funny, and you smashed it, Mama!”

Which is the whole point of making these things in the first place, isn’t it?