unique papercrafting graphic 45

June 19, 2013

Three Ideas For Pretty Mini Albums By Maria Cole

Secret Garden Mini Album Maria Cole Graphic 45

Hello G45ers,

There's a beautiful quote by Aristotle that says, "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." We definitely believe that crafting is an art form that is rooted in kind-hearted reflection and love. Today you are going to see some breathtaking examples of crafts that represent this lovely notion. We will be introducing you to a fabulous new member of the Graphic 45 Design Team, Maria Cole. She has created three awe-inspiring mini albums that are sure to inspire your imagination! If you love mini albums then today's Graphic 45 is going to be pure paradise!

We are thrilled to be welcoming Maria Cole to the new 2013 Graphic 45 Design Team. Her colorful crafts are a true celebration of life! She has a wide range of talents for creating brilliant layouts, mini albums altered art and more! Her art is overflowing with lavish embellishments, dazzling colors and heartfelt sentiments. She also has a great talent for capturing the unique spirit of Graphic 45 collections. She definitely knows how to bring out the vintage-inspired elegance in all of her papercrafting creations! We are so excited to have her on our team. Please join us in welcoming the fabulous Maria!

Headshot Maria Cole

About Maria:

My papercrafting journey began in April 2011. Back then, I was going through some hard times. On a whim one day, I decided to check out Paper Mermaids in Newport, Oregon. Let me tell you, that day changed my life! My eyes were instantly drawn to a beautiful mini album made with Graphic 45’s On The Boardwalk line. I was mesmerized by the details, rich colors, vintage designs, and how creative the entire piece was. Before this, papercrafting and scrapbooking were foreign words to me. Suddenly, I became obsessed with how artistic scrapbooking had become—and I wanted in. Experimenting with papercrafting brought me so much joy and it restored my hope. It gave me something to put my whole heart into, something to get lost in, and something to bless others with I have loved Graphic 45 from the start and I truly feel like I am my most creative when I’m making something with G45 products. I love decorating the Staples albums and altered boxes with Graphic 45’s beautiful paper, as well as making my own albums using chipboard and upcycled pieces around the house. The transformation from plain tan kraft to a magnificent masterpiece is one I always strive for!


The scrapbook store I found allowed me to design a couple projects. However, life changed course soon after, and my husband and I found ourselves in the greater Seattle area in 2012. The paper fiend that I am, the first thing I looked for was the nearest scrapbooking store: The Mad Scrapper. I’ve been truly blessed to be a regular teacher there for over a year now, and have reveled at the chance to design class projects with the latest Graphic 45 products. Teaching has truly helped stretch my imagination and teaching abilities, and I am incredibly honored and over-the-moon to be teaching as a Graphic 45 Design Team member. I love pretty and feminine styles, lots of flowers, and imaginative yet practical designs. My hope is to help inspire the Graphic 45 community with my projects and to encourage crafters of all levels to design with their whole heart—and to continue spreading the joy of papercrafting.


Maria's Blog:




We begin with this stunning upcyled French Country mini album that Maria created from a pizza box! Isn't that clever?!  Here she explains her inspiration behind this marvelous piece. She even includes some fun tips for how it was made! Take it away, Maria!


"I love upcycling everyday items around the house, along with making fully functional projects that still look pretty classy. So you could say that this project combines my love for reusing and for making practical crafts. This is a menu album that I made using the beautiful French Country line and a regular old pizza box! The first thing I did was separate the top and bottom lids of the pizza box, and then trim them both to 8.5” x 11”. From there, I covered both pieces of cardboard with G45 paper and used a strip of black cardstock for binding. For fun, I chose a specific photo mat from “A La Carte” and added alphabet stickers to give my menu a name! I LOVE flowers, so of course, my menu album had to have some! I used the awesome French Country flowers to accent my front cover. For the centers, I thought it would be fun to use various sizes of bling. And because I love color, I brought in some green leaves from Tropical Travelogue to tuck underneath my flowers. The inside opens up to reveal a simple two page layout. I felt the beautiful fruit designs from “Bon Appetit” were perfect for the inside. But the real highlight of the inside is the two photo mats. I placed clear masking tape on both so that I could use a dry erase marker to write and re-write what’s for dinner!" -Maria












Graphic 45 Paper:

French Country Grandeur

French Country Bon Appetit

French Country Bonjour

French Country Deja Vu

French Country Abundance

French Country Provance

French Country A La Carte

Tropical Travelogue Rainforest

Graphic 45 Embellishments:

French Country Stickers

French Country Flowers

Olde Curiosity Shoppe Alphabet Stickers

Additional products:

Bazzill Beetle paper

ZVA crystals


Metal brads

Tim Holtz Hardware die

Perfect Pearls – Heirloom Gold

Distress Ink – Walnut Stain

Clearing masking tape

12” x 12” pizza box


Next we have another fabulous mini album by Maria. She created this treasure with Tropical Travelogue and lots of pretty Graphic 45 Staples. Maria's pizazz for creating mini albums really shines in this dazzling work of art! Here is what she had to say about it!


"I fell in love with Tropical Travelogue from the moment I first saw it. The vibrant colors, enchanting island designs, and whimsical papers took me away to a far off place! The first project I made with Tropical Travelogue was a children’s book that had lots of fussy cutting and some fun hidden sections. The ladies at The Mad Scrapper in Issaquah, Washington loved that mini so I decided to create a similar one. This was the mini album that I ended up designing for my first mini album class! I LOVE fussy cutting and this paper line has so many perfect pieces for detail cutting. The different types of flowers, leaves, and the island ladies … You can really tell a blissful story through Graphic 45 papers! One of my favorite elements of my mini are the Metal Hinges. They added a fun, interactive touch to the book that all my students loved!" -Maria












Graphic 45 Paper:

Tropical Travelogue 8” x 8” Paper Pad (1 of each design)

Graphic 45 Embellishments:

Metal Hinges Staples

Flower Staples

Additional Products:

Petaloo Forget Me Nots

ZVA crystals

Tim Holtz Memo Pins

Tim Holtz Hinge Clips

American Crafts Brad

Stickles – Copper

Distress Ink – Walnut Stain

Brown, coral, green, and blue May Arts ribbon

Copper rings




Last but not least is this breathtaking Secret Garden mini by Maria. She definitely captures the fresh and whimsical spirit of Secret Garden in this sweet mini! Here she gives some helpful tips on how she made this marvelous mini! Take it away, Maria!


"Secret Garden is one of my FAVORITE Graphic 45 paper lines. I absolutely LOVE flowers and soft colors, so naturally I had to use this paper line for one of my final round projects! I chose to use the kraft envelope album for this project because, when you pull the envelopes out and sit them upright, they resemble seedling packets! So that seemed to fit perfectly with the Secret Garden theme. So I made sure to put some real seedling packets in every other envelope! The stamps for this paper line are so beautiful and I wanted to incorporate them somehow. I love stamping and try to use it wherever I can. I thought I could dress up the envelopes by stamping them all over, then applying some gold embossing powder. This little mini has designs on both sides and is bound with some gorgeous May Arts pink silk ribbon, another one of my favorites! I thought about giving this to my mom for Mother’s Day, but I’ve had a hard time letting it go. (Sorry, Mom!!) I look forward to making more pretty creations with Secret Garden along with all the other new fabulous lines that Graphic 45 has in store!" -Maria













Graphic 45 Paper:

Secret Garden Springtime

Secret Garden Leafy Treetops

Secret Garden Meadow Lark

Secret Garden May Flowers

Graphic 45 Embellishments:

Kraft Envelope Album Staples

Secret Garden Cling Stamp 3

Metal Clothespin Staples

Additional Products:

Petaloo Ruffled Roses – Mint

Petaloo Mixed Textured Mini Blossoms – Coral

May Arts Silk 1.25” Ribbon

Ranger Embossing Powder – Gold

Distress Ink – Vintage Photo

Ice Stickles – Coffee Ice

Burpee seedling packets


We hope you all had fun exploring today's magnificent minis by Maria! We are so excited to welcome her to our new Design Team! We also want to thank all of you for joining us today. Come on back and see us tomorrow for more inspiration and fun! We wish you all a very happy day!


Your Pals in Paper,


Team Graphic 45


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Three Ideas For Pretty Mini Albums By Maria Cole:



beautiful, classy albums!

Wow!! These are all gorgeous! LOVING the designs!!

Love the ispiration :)

Those are such gorgeous minis!!

Absolutely beautiful! What talent!

Wonderful designs!

Very pretty creations. Very Talented.

how to pick a favorite?? I love all the papers!

these projects are beautiful....what a talented artist...


Maria's work is just beautiful and very inspiring!

Ironically, we share a common background....I got my start in the world of paper crafting after a class at Mad Scrapper in Issaquah. I chose to use Graphic 45 paper in that class/project....who knew where it would all lead! You create beautiful work! Enjoy your time with G45 and it is great to see another Pacific Northwest person the team!

Everyone is very talented. Can't wait to see what is next.

These are all stunning. What size is your Tropical Travelogue mini??

Love todays mini albums!! Amazing work!!

You must be kidding! It is like you are in my head (a frightening prospect for you) and using the colors, designs and techniques I am most drawn to! Also, my favorite is mini albums. I am going to your blog immediately!

Wonderful albums! It appears her talent is boundless and your papers shine!

Absolutely gorgeous - love love love xxx

Wow!!! These projects are STUNNING!!! LOVE Maria's work...so beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

I love the tropical mini album. Reminds me of the cruises I have taken.

Absolutely beautiful work from a very creative and talented lady! And, yes a beautiful quote... :)

very beautiful and good ispiration

Wonderful projects and inspiration from Maria, thank you so much.

WOW! Each album is so different and so beautiful! Amazing work!

Maria's work is outstanding! Thank you G45 for the inspiration today!

Maria is an amazing person and artist! Her creativity is inspiring. Can't wait to see all her creations throughout the year.

Beautiful projects! I love the little envelope mini! Very sweet!

Every single project is so inspiring and beautiful. I have to admit that Secret Garden is my favorite collection too!

Her work is fabulous and she is one of the sweetest people you willl ever meet. I am so happy for her that she made the design team!

Great to meet & see Maria's creations. All great especially like the 3rd with the pegs & how it unfolds... TFS :)))

Amazing work!!

I love these projects!

Great use of Graphic45 papers. Love all three creations. Thank you for sharing with all of us!

Beautiful projects!! Very creative!

Gorgeous mini albums - I especially loved the Spring Garden envelope album!! TFS, Bonnie :-)

You are going to be fun to watch these next few years. love your work!

all of these albums are just beautiful! what talent! :)

beautiful work Maria!

These are works of art, for sure. I love Maria's creations and also her beautiful soul.

Newer Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.