Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cityscapes Philaterium - G45 2016 DT Application - Final Round

Hello dear visitors!!

As some of you may know, Graphic 45 announced on their blog the names of the TOP30 finalists for the 2016 Design Team, and my name was mentioned there too!!! I feel extremely honored and happy!

For the second and the final round of the DT call, the finalists were asked to create a video tutorial of one project OR to create a video with a description of 3 projects which represented them as designers.

Those who follow my blog and You Tube, must know what I chose LOL.... Tutorial!! Exactly!!!

I should mention that coming up with an idea for a project, for me personally, is much harder then the process of its implementation. There are 3 new collections of papers which have been recently released by G45 - "Enchanted Forest", "Voyage Beneath the Sea" and "Cityscapes". I decided to have a closer look at the papers themselves and let them choose for me, what to create. Might sound strange, but this is exactly what happened, when I saw a pattern with lots of postage stamps on a sheet from the "Cityscapes" collection. I remember my dad's collection of postage stamps, which he kept in a large stamp holder and being a little girl I adored flipping through its pages, looking at the different stamps and beautiful vintage postcards. From here to there - I decided to create a cute stamp holder and to cut out the stamps from the "Well Traveled" paper. Of course, the holder needs to be placed inside something - from here comes the idea to create a trunk, and to put a magnifying glass and an album with the stamps inside.

The best way of getting inspiration for creating a box or a trinket, is by searching through the vintage Chinese boxes in Google. I found one which served as a base for my trunk.

I'm talking a lot today, right!? :)
Without further ado, here is what I came up with:

What do you think? While designing this piece, I filmed a video and made into a tutorial on how to construct this trunk from scratch. The links to all the parts of the video will follow below.

The top compartment has a mini album with 7 pocket top loading pages. Each pocket page has a tag for additional pictures or journaling. I kept the cover simple, and created a shaker window, using a magnifying plastic sheet and some sequins. The magnifying sheet is not far enough from the picture, so it looks the same in size, though it still creates a nice "fish-eye" looking effect, when you move the album in your hands and look at the cover.

On the spine I used one of the chipboard tags and a brass embellishment with a glass pebble on top:

The album is stored in the top compartment, which flips open and reveals another storage place, where the magnifying glass is kept. Elastic bands, which are connected to the bottom of the compartment with a few brads, don't let the magnifying glass slip and move while the top section is opened.

This is how the Philaterium Trunk looks like when the whole top section is unfolded:

The bottom drawer is where the stamp holder is kept. The name of the project - Philaterium - was inspired by the word 'philately', which is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items.

On the stamp holder cover I used one more chipboard tag and a die cut  from La-La Land Crafts with the buildings skyline. Isn't it perfect for this collection?

Most of the time, I'm creating the pages in my albums, using Kathy Orta's hidden hinge binding method, but this time I wanted to try something new. Since the pages are not bulky and don't have any embellishments on them. 

I binded the pages using so called 'spacer' chipboard pieces and layered on top a protective sheet (made from the tracing paper). I think it looks like a real stamp holder, don't you think?

I had a tremendous fun creating this project and no matter what the results of the final round would be, taking part in the Design Team Call brought me a huge satisfaction and inspiration.

In the following photo you can have a look at the both of the albums and the trunk again:

My video overview of the Philaterium may be found on my You Tube channel:

And now to the tutorial!! :)
As you can imagine, creating the trunk takes time and that's why the tutorial consists of several parts.

The first one is about the basic construction:

The second depicts a speed process of attaching the metal parts and putting the parts of the trunk together.

The third is about creating the stamp holder album for those who are not bored and want to try creating one for themselves (ha-ha) :)

Thanks for your time.



  1. Absolutely stunning. You are so amazingly talented Alexandra.

  2. amazing !!!
    fingers crossed

  3. WOW hun; amazing work!. Very good luck with your apply; you deserve on being selected. Elena.

  4. Stunning project, I can only begin to imagine the hours of work involved in this. Good luck with your final round entry, there are some fabulous finalists, but you are up there with the best of them! :) xx

  5. Gorgeous work!!! I hope you get one of the spots at the Graphics45 DT!!! Your talent certainly deserves it.
    Paper Talk with Samra

  6. This is simply a stunning creation!!

  7. This is WOW project ma'am. You are my inspiration. I will wait for the update about your selection as a DT. Best of luck.

  8. This is beyond amazing Alexandra! All the details through careful research and your perfect use of this paper collection make this truck album an exquisite piece for stamp collectors. I am certain you will be a successful candidate for the DTS call!
    Hugs, Katie

  9. WOW! WOW! AND WOW! Graphics 45 are crazy if they don't choose you for their DT :-)

  10. OMG!!!! That is just crazy good looking stuff really. Loooove it


  11. Great project worthy to be part of the G45 Design Team!!!!!Love it so much - OMG - another one to make. Thank you for sharing such great details on how to make this. Wow - is all I can say!! Will wish the best that you will be selected for the team.

  12. I have no words!A brilliant tutorial ! congratulations! thank you for sharing this project. I remember I used to collect stamps from the whole world when I was a child, because I had an auntie who was a nurse in a ship and she sent me such beatiful cards with such gorgeous stamps but unfortunately I lost it ! So now I have the chance to make a trunk like the ones my auntie had and a stamp álbum like yours. thanks so much!

  13. This is absolutely over the top gorgeous - you should be so pleased with how it turned out and you totally deserve to be on the Designer Team for Graphic 45. Thankyou so much for sharing your talent and inspiration with us.

  14. Fantastic project, love love
    Good luck with your final round entry

  15. I love your project! Perfect for the audition!
    Magda Cortez

  16. Best wishes! I have been a fan for sometime now, watching your videos and looking at your amazing projects. I needed some help with a hinge the other day, and went directly to one of your tutorial videos to see how you managed it! I hope to see you on the new G45 team! I am rooting for you!! Looking forward to watching this new project video series!

  17. Big congrats on making the team! I look forward to getting to know you!

  18. Just amazing! I cannot wait to try this myself:) your work is perfection!

  19. Just amazing! I cannot wait to try this myself:) your work is perfection!

  20. Amazing job. I love this! I will be making one for sure. Good luck and hope to see more of your creations.

  21. Hi! Such a fabulous project! LOVE!! What is the name of the dies you used to cut the buildings skyline that is on front of the Stamp Album and where may I purchase them? Did you use a punch to cut out the stamps in the album? Thanks...definately making this :-)

    1. Hello. The die which I used for cutting out the skyline border was paer of the January 2016 Club Kit set from La-La Land Crafts (, it cannot be purchased separately. You can find a substitute, here is the link for ex:

      For your second question - I did not use any punch to cut out the stamps, just scissors :)

      I hope this helps


Thank you for the kind comments!