‘Cheers to 18’ – A Mini Album Celebrating 18th Birthday

Hello there! I’m so excited to share with you this cute little mini album ‘Cheer’s to 18’, I created for the 18th birthday of a pretty girl. This album is cute, fun, simple and perfectly sized for putting together the precious memories from last 18 years.

The teenage years that our kids go through come with many ups and downs that are unique to this age group. When your little one is turning eighteen, it’s all the more special. You want to capture all the special moments and landmarks – the first day of school, turning five and ten years old, graduating from school, and finally, turning eighteen!

Once you touch this golden number of eighteen, life becomes more interesting, it’s eventful, it’s exciting, and has some magical effect on most teenagers. This is exactly what I wanted to create – bring back some of the best memories of her 18 years and leave a beautiful and lasting impact of the wonderful life she’s had so far.

I first gathered all the pictures that her aunt had sent across to create this album. Tried to put it in a chronological order, but seemed difficult as I didn’t have pics from each year. Hence I created a whimsical flow that captured the key milestones and occasions of her life. It took me about two weekends to put it together that includes creating the basic frame, designing and crafting each page with embellishments, die cuts and adding my journaling.

The basic frame of 8 x 8” is made from a simple black A3 size card stock which I folded at various points to create a mini book. I used different patterned papers, die cuts, stickers, washi tape, doilies (my favourite) and pretty embellishments to enhance the look of each page.

Here’s a sneak peek into the mini album:



I wanted to name this album something around celebrating freedom – coz at eighteen you feel like you’ve got wings to fly and everyday is a celebration. “Cheers to 18’ was the perfect name for this album. I love the “Cheers” die cut – it’s so cool! The number 18 is a foam cut numerical which I gave a distress brown look with pigment inks. The mango yellow burlap paper as a background adds that texture to the cover and the mint green doily just creates another layer of beauty. I added some yellow foam stars to complete the look.


The first page is a ‘hello beautiful’ flap that opens to a page with a big family pic and another flap pocket for notes and messages. Just love the colour combinations and cute little bow as the embellishments. I have added lots of tags and extra pop up cards to add messages from friends and family.


Time Flies – Wanted to capture the cute little journey from a baby to a teenager. This page with nine scallop shaped pictures will tell the story! Have added some wildlife circular paper tags as she has been very fond of the wild cat – Tigers. (These tips shared by the mother and aunt did help give a personality to the album) It exactly depicts what the girl stands for.


PARTNERS IN CRIME – I absolutely love this page (created lot of layers with different pattern papers and tags) – talks about the beautiful bonding the girl shares with her aunt. Both of them are literally the best pals or if I may put it they are “Partners in Crime”.


This page is all about her schooling – the first and last day of your child’s school is so special. What I like about this page are the pattern papers that go with the school theme – from the checkered (school uniform)pattern paper to the ruling lines notebook pattern paper, this background just takes you back to the good old school days.


Talking about school and college, how can I miss out on FRIENDSHIP! This ‘besties’ page with those colourful banners is just so girly and cute.


This page is for the rolu polu cute little baby pic when she was barely 8 months. I couldn’t get my eyes off that pic. She looks so adorable – cute little teddy bear you want to embrace!!



And finally my favourite page – The family is a wildlife and birding enthusiast and have taken several trips to various safaris – the best one being the one to SOUTH AFRICA’S Kruger National Park. The layout of the page is outstanding! It has four different boxes (black squares) to showcase some specific pics and one large family pic divided into four strips (leopard print)  to give that best adventure look. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this layout. The other flaps are for more pics and journaling some awesome memories.

Yes! This is it… An exciting album with so many small elements. Had great gun working on this scrapbook.


Things I love

Ganpati Nostalgia…


“A man’s homeland is wherever he prospers” There must have been an obvious reason why Aristophanes, the famous playwright would make such a statement. With embracing Mumbai as my homeland and fitting myself in the cultural mosaic of this city, somewhere in my ambivalent emotions, the nostalgia of my birthplace ‘ODISHA’ always beckons me, especially during festivities like Ganesh Chaturthi and Dussehra. You always feel that something is amiss in your life now. The feeling magnifies more when you see people celebrating these occasions with near and dear ones; suggesting that probably, just probably, you have lost a tad more than you have gained.

It’s Ganesh Chaturthi and like every year I am feeling homesick remembering celebrations in our neighbourhood. The excitement of wearing a new dress, meeting friends & relatives, the aromatic prasad of boondi sev (sweet delicacy), the theme based pandals, the exquisitely crafted idols (not as lively as the ones in Mumbai) and the communal celebrations that erupt all over Bhubaneswar – are still fresh in my mind. Ganesh Chatutrthi is as much a festival for Odias as is for some other places in India. It holds a very special place in my childhood memories. We used to look forward to this day with great zeal and enthusiasm. Preparations used to start atleast 10 days in advance. I remember accompanying mom and dad to local Haat (market) for buying the puja essentials, decorations and the idol. We used to build a mini pandal (temple) in the living area of our house. The mighty Ganpati idol was seated on a pidha, a wooden platform in the centre, with silk drapes (usually mom’s sarees) hanging on either side. Colourful streamers, paper halo, buntings, garlands and festoons added exuberance to our homemade pandal. On the day of the puja, we used to wake up early to finish our daily chores and wait for the pandit (priest) to come and worship the deity with a havan and aarti (read pushpanjali). As a ritual, we used to keep our books and pens for puja, expressing our devotion to the lord and praying for bestowing us with wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The puja was followed by bhajjans, distribution of prasad, feasting on a delicious meal, catching up with friends and having a nice banter with them.


These ceremonies were not restricted to households only. Most cultural & educational institutions, besides social and street clubs used to organise the puja with much religious fervour and gaiety. Though, we never had these celebrations in our school, since it was a convent; but we visited other local schools and club houses, buzzing with bhajjans, devotional songs and bollywood numbers as well. Huge illuminated pandals with regal Ganpati idols adorned the streets of Bhubaneswar. My favourite used to be the one right opposite our house. We used to flock to various pandals in the city to take a glimpse of the striking Ganpati idols, displayed with splendor. The attraction of the pandals was the huge archway or entrance gate. From temple structures to iconic architectural buildings, the puja pandals were always innovative and are etched in my memory. Amidst the noise of trumpets, and the chants of “Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh”, you could also end up attending the music concerts called ‘Melody’ and other recreational programs. The festivities used to end with visarjan, when we immersed the Ganpati idol in the local Kuakhai River.


Well, all this can be enjoyed in any place and moreover in Mumbai, where Ganpati celebrations are held with even more grandeur and on a larger scale. It’s is not even about the fervour as you can experience it anywhere. But probably it’s about that vivacity, that warmth, that passion which makes you most nostalgic and most craving for the fragrance of the land – “The Mitti ki Khushboo”.