Using Disney Themed Collections

Before we left on our Disney trip, I purchased a ton (okay, 3 or 4) paper collections that were Disney themed.  I thought for sure that this would make scrapbooking our vacation so much easier!  The supplies would be ready, and the pages would flow since the color scheme would be consistent.

What could go wrong?  I forgot to take two things into account when making these plans.  First, I didn’t think about the colors in the photos not matching with the colors in the collections.  Let’s face it… light blue, yellow, red, and black just don’t go well with purple and pink photos.  The other element I forgot about was the scrapbooker… me!  If you have followed me for a while, you know I am not a collection scrapbooker.  How could I possibly think I could stick within multiple collections with the same basic designs?

Now that I am about halfway through scrapping our vacation photos, I realize that I have hardly touched the collections I purchased.  When you’ve done 30 layouts and only about 3 use papers from the Disney themed collections, well, it’s not good.  I’m only using the supplies I bought for this album about 10 percent of the time.  (I’m a math teacher.  The percentage is important to me!)

So what do I do?  I am making a concerted effort to pull those Disney collections.  Today’s layout was the perfect opportunity to use up some Disney papers.  The colors of the tile in the Morocco pavilion, along with my husband’s shirt (wasn’t it nice that he matched the background so well?), went along perfectly with the color scheme in the collections I had.  In this case I pulled the yellow chevron for the background as well as the red polka dot paper.  I wanted to use a darker blue than what was in the collection, so I used that lovely navy tone-on-tone scrap.  I also decided to use a pale cream piece of cardstock, so that the yellow paper created a frame and kept this layout from becoming too busy.

Explore

I love the overall design of this page.  I started with a sketch by Jennifer Shaw, simplifying it a bit.  She included some circle elements that I omitted because… um… I am a lazy scrapper.  Though I love the added interest circles provide, I didn’t want to deal with cutting and placing them.  She had a filmstrip piece as well, but only included a bit on the right side.  I decided to place it all of the way across.  (Let me tell you, I was doing a happy dance when I was able to use that film cut apart strip.  I have SUCH a hard time using cut aparts in collections.)

The embellishments for this page except for the “explore” are completely from the Disney themed collections.  I am super happy with how the embellishment cluster at the top right turned out.  I stacked a couple of 2×2 cut aparts to make it look like I had paper strips.  Then I added a couple of die cuts, a piece of chipboard, and some yellow enamel dots.  It’s nothing fancy.  It just looks balanced.  I think keeping the materials pretty narrow on this page helped me create something that I love.  Maybe I should limit my supplies more often!

I am not including any Disney tips for now, as the world is currently in a state of flux.  Advice that I have from our trip won’t reflect the current reality.  For now, I will just keep scrapping.

Simplicity

I am currently on a simple scrapbooking kick.  My layouts are almost never too complicated.  I just don’t have the time or patience to work on anything overly elaborate.  Let’s be real, I DO pin elaborate designs thinking that some day I will do one.  That day just never arrives!  Right now my focus is to get my large backlog of photos scrapped and into their appropriate books.

This layout is an extraordinarily simple grid design.  There are no fancy techniques or flashy new products on this page.  The embellishments are minimal, even for me.  In part, because of the design, I didn’t have a lot of room to add a lot of embellishments.  There could be more decoration down in the bottom left hand corner, but I also didn’t want to distract from the beautiful photos.

Sweet Serenity

I will be honest, this layout didn’t turn out like I had originally pictured.  My original vision had a background paper that was much more beachy with waves.  I scrapped (pun intended… Yes, I am a geek.) that idea, when it made the whole page look washed out.  That bottom square was originally slated to hold a banner and the title.  However, nothing I tried looked right.  So, I had to go with plan B there as well.

Since that square is so large, I had to find a large embellishment to fill the space.  I discovered that wood heart in my stash, and it was a perfect fit.  It was much too plain by itself.  I didn’t want to cover up that beautiful wood with paper or paint, so I decided on just placing a flower in the upper left hand corner.  Then I chose the butterfly, and another small wood veneer heart.  Since I am terrible at using those tiny word stickers, I pulled the “beach” sticker as well.  I finished off the embellishment on the page by mirroring the butterfly, wood veneer hearts, and word sticker in the upper right hand corner.

I know this page isn’t anything super eye catching.  It’s still a scrapbooking win.  I got 3 beautiful photographs scrapped.  I also got to use some older products.  Both the light blue photo mats and the background paper are from paper stacks.  I don’t often use those stacks because the paper is so thin.  The butterflies are also about a decade old.  My goal is to use up the supplies I purchased years ago.  By mixing them in with newer supplies, I will be able to save money.

Another Hidden Surprise

I know that this layout is fairly simple.  Honestly, that’s what I like about it. It’s bright and cheery, without taking hours to produce.  I love the contrast between the lime green and turquoise.  To add in a bit of interest, I did break it up with that black and white floral.  It just makes me so happy.

You will see me use this basic design quite often.  Really it’s just a slight modification of placing large bands of paper all the way across the layout.  I like to cut them down a bit and have them flush to one side.  It’s a small thing, but it really does give a layout a different look.  Because there was so much room with only this one photo on the page, I paired it with the “Dream” journaling card.

That card along, with some of my other embellishments have been in my stash for quite a while  The apple tag, the green clip, the metallic lime dots, and that green tab had been hanging around for years.  Those metallic dots were actually handed down to me by another scrapper, so I can’t even imagine how old they must be.  I mixed them with a few newer die cuts to finish off the layout.

Hello Sunshine

About that green tab… that’s a hidden journaling spot.  Originally, I was going to write on the “Dream” card.  I felt like the writing would just look wrong there.  If I wrote on the card and didn’t like it, I would have to trash it and find something else to put there.  So I found a large journaling card with a tab and made a pocket for it underneath the turquoise dot paper.  For those who don’t like their handwriting, but want to include journaling, hidden spots are the way to go!

No travel tips in this post!  In this case, I didn’t get beyond my own backyard.

 

More San Francisco Memories

Most of my scrapbook pages either feature pets or travel.  The funny thing is, I don’t travel all that much.  Disney World was our first “fly to get away” vacation.  So how do I have photos from other locations?  Work.  Every once in a while I get the opportunity to go on a business trip.  Though it doesn’t allow much time to explore, I always manage to go out at least one night to play tourist.

I have spent a little time in San Francisco over the years.  The photos I have are generally from the pier.  It’s a little magical at sunset.  The sky becomes this peachy orange color.  I am used to the pinks and purples of our local sunsets, so the peach sunset always makes me stop and take in the view.

The Pier Sunset

It’s always these colors that guide my paper choices when scrapping the pier.  I did some fussy cutting of the lovely flowers from Jen Hadfield’s DIY Home collection.  As much as I hate fussy cutting, I really do love the embellishments they create.  From there, I chose the grey and white polka dot paper and the peach cardstock.  If I had stopped there, it would have been a bit too plain.  So I rifled through my scraps and found the peach chevron and the floral paper that forms the mat of the photo.  Finally, I grabbed the grey card and peach library card from my embellishments.

It didn’t need much beyond the flowers for decorations.  I had that grey heart that I cut out YEARS ago, then topped it with the “Be Happy” from the branding strip.  I also pulled out that “Snapshots” chipboard as well.  I finished it off with a few tiny pearls sprinkled around the flowers.

Believe it or not, there is journaling on this page.  This is one of those times where I didn’t want all of my thoughts out there for the world to see.  That grey card in the middle has journaling lines on the reverse side.  I created a pocket for that card so that it can be pulled out and read.  I could honor my travel partner who was with me on this trip, and has since passed, without it being stumbled upon.

The one part that I am unhappy with is the title part that utilizes the peach alpha stickers.  That font is not my favorite.  I wish I had picked something else.  Yes, I could peel them up and try again, but I won’t.  This is another one of those times that I just have to move on.

San Francisco travel tip:  If your hotel is near the airport, downtown San Francisco is a bit of a drive away.  Expect to pay $50 one way if taking a Lyft or Uber.

 

Using Old Supplies

Admit it.  You have purchased a scrapbooking supply that you thought was a great idea at the time, only to find out that you never use it.  Washi tape, brads, and papers with corner prints have all been my kryptonite.  All of those pale in comparison to this pack of Crate Paper frames that I bought back in 2012.  They were all the rage back when I purchased them.  I was all on board, until they arrived and I tried to actually use them.  I finally gave up, and put them under a pile of supplies that I would “get to someday.”

A fellow scrapbooker put out a challenge to put together page kits.  One of my goals is to include those hard to use items in my kits.  That way, at least some of them will make it onto a page.  So for one of my page kits, I tossed in the entire pack of chipboard frames.  I was DETERMINED to use them.  For this kit, I also included some very old chipboard shapes and cork hearts.  (I honestly love those hearts.  I just don’t tend to reach for them very often.)

The papers came together quite quickly.  I pulled an old lime green tone-on-tone print for the background.  Then I added that lovely teal vine paper on top.  It’s so pretty!  I also added a bit of blue from a paper pad, then used a border punch on it.  The blue paper is also an attempt to use up some of those thin papers I purchased very early on in my scrapbooking adventure.  I much prefer the heavier cardstock weight papers for my projects.

Fave

Once the papers were placed, then the fiddling began.  I’m not talking about the good kind of fiddling that you can tap your toe to.  No, I’m talking about placing, moving, and placing items again.  At first, I was going for a diagonal design.  I simply could not get it to work.  Finally, I realized I could group them in more of a horizontal design.  It still took quite a bit of finessing before I was happy.

After I got the frames where I wanted them, I needed to choose the paper scraps to fill them.  This then began the game of “move the frame without bumping any of the others out of place.”  This is not a fun game.  I did make sure to take a photo of the frame placement before I began gluing papers.  Still, it’s difficult to keep everything exactly in place.  Admittedly, I did end up adjusting them a bit more before everything was attached to the background.

For once I actually enjoyed embellishing a layout!  I am as surprised as you are!  The frames took up so much space and added quite a bit of dimension.  Each little space invited its own little decorating space.  The best part?  Those old chipboard pieces finally came out of my stash after sitting for years.  I also included a couple of die-cuts and mixed in cork and wood hearts.  It was so freeing to not work by the rule of threes or use a diagonal design.  Nope, just place here and there until I was happy.

Going out of my comfort zone took a little extra time, but it was totally worth it.  This is one of my favorite layouts that I’ve done in a long time.

Disney tip:  If you want some nice photos without any people in the background, get to the park early.  This photo was taken before park opening.  Though not all parts of the park are accessible, there are definitely some nice photo opportunities available.

And So it Begins

I know this doesn’t look like a Disney layout.  It doesn’t use any traditional Disney colors.  You don’t see any Disney icon embellishments.  There is absolutely nothing about Disney in the photo!  So how can this be a Disney layout?  This was the selfie (I forced upon my husband) that we took while waiting for the friendship boat to take us to EPCOT.  We were about to go to our first Disney park, and I wanted to record that excitement!  That’s about as excited as we get, people!

Love

With the photo being so dark, I wanted to work with a light background.  In this case, I just went with my favorite smooth American Crafts cardstock.  Then I began digging through my scrap bin.  I pulled out all of the blue and green scraps, then began mixing and matching them until I found a combination that I liked.  For the most part, I chose lighter shades.  I did want that navy star paper included to give it a little bit of weight towards the bottom.

I am a big fan of the stacked boxes design.  There’s no right or wrong way to do it.  I always try to make some sort of an “L” shape.  Really, I just stack and restack until it turns out the way I want it.  This is a great style for using up your scraps.  Whenever I get a number of large scraps that compliment each other, you can be sure I’m going to do a stacked box design.

Almost all of the embellishments are pretty old.  The only new piece is the “Let the Adventure begin!” die-cut.  The chipboard stars are some of my favorite embellishments ever.  I believe they are from Studio Calico.  I am nearly out of them.  They just seemed to be a perfect compliment to the star paper.  The chipboard “love” was sitting on my desk.  I believe I’ve had that for 10-15 years.  With the colors in the page, it just seemed to be a perfect fit.

I know it doesn’t look like a typical Disney layout.  That’s okay!  There are no rules about scrapbooking.  This was a special memory that I wanted to document.  The beginning of this particular adventure was magical.  The story was about us, and our happiness.  That’s what this photo captured.

Disney tip:

If you want a relaxing trip into either Epcot or Hollywood Studios, the friendship boats are amazing.  We enjoyed gliding along the water, taking in the scenery.  Crescent Lake is a great place to stay if you want easy access into 2 parks.  Both parks are within walking distance, but we loved the boats.

Back to Disney (I Wish)

Oh how I wish I could go back to Disney.  Living in that perfect little bubble is quite addicting.  For now I will have to do the next best thing, scrapbook the memories.  Today’s post takes me all of the way back to arrival day.  We came in late, checked into our hotel, and headed to EPCOT.  Lucky for us, EPCOT had extra hours and wasn’t closing until 11:00.  We grabbed some food and began to explore in the dark. That place is REALLY dark at night. Not so great for newbie navigating, but excellent for photos.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is so beautiful lit up at night.  The photo on the left is from across the lake.  I simply adore the shadows of the palm trees cast against the side.  The photo on the right is from a little trail where you can see the monorail track in the foreground.  There’s nothing like seeing that view while walking along the water.  That purple glow is just iconic.

There was no way to avoid using a purple or lavender palette on this page.  Okay… I could have tried something else, but I wanted to honor the photos.  Like I often do, I used some aqua as well.  I just love those colors together.  I do wish that I had chosen a different background paper.  I feel like there isn’t enough contrast between that and the title.  I tried to make it work by placing the lavender “earth” on the strips rather than the background.  However, I think the the aqua “spaceship” somehow melts into the lavender background too!

Since I have so much trouble with layouts that feature both landscape and portrait photos, I searched my pins for some inspiration.  I found this layout by Susan Stringfellow.  (I am a serious fangirl.)  I chose to use flowers as embellishments like Susan did.  Really I have so few embellishments in lavender and aqua, I needed to make some myself.  I used Tim Holtz’s tattered florals dies to make the lavender flowers.  By luck, the white and aqua flowers showed up in an order that arrived while I was scrapping this layout.  I also stamped, embossed, and then fussy-cut the butterfly.  Sometimes you just have to create what you need.

Disney tip:  If you are arriving late to Disney property, you may want to relax and enjoy your evening at your resort.  We jumped right in, but in hindsight, it would have been nice just to wander around the boardwalk.  We could have gotten dinner and watched the fireworks without ever going into the parks.

Scrapping With Collections

I have a problem.  I buy paper collections.  Okay, so that doesn’t really sound like a problem.  It’s just that I don’t USE collections.  Even the Disney collections that I purchased for our trip are rarely used as I scrap Disney layouts.  I think I like the idea of a collection, but prefer to pull individual papers from various companies to scrap a page.  There have been some exceptions to the rule.  Once in a blue moon, a collection comes along and just calls to me.  There are 3 collections that I love so much, that I’ve used just about every tiny little piece of them.  Fancy Pants’ “What a Wonderful Day,” Echo Park’s “Everyday Eclectic,” and Echo Park’s “We are Family” inspire me.

I pulled the few papers I had left from “We are Family” in order to make this layout.  I am down to literally pulling scraps.  See that green piece and the blue polka dot paper?  Yeah, that’s all I had left of those.  I love how Echo Park made their papers work together.  Yes, that is the point of a collection.  However, too often, collections have papers that actually DO NOT go together.  I was able to pull my last few scraps, and they magically coordinated without any work from me.Sweet Times

I chose to finish off the collection because I felt they matched my photos so well.  The flower paper works with the floral pillows.  The blues and teals match the decor and the clothing of my family.  (No, I didn’t make them wear clothes to match my paper.  There are some people that do that!)  I also chose this collection because it brings me joy.  The people I love should be documented using products that make me happy.

The layout is a pretty typical style for me.  It’s really just strips of papers going up the page.  I cut the floral paper down so it wasn’t as wide.  Then two matted 4 x 6 photos were placed on top.  I added a journaling card to the side.  My embellishments travel down in a diagonal in order to draw the eye to the photos.  I did use some stickers from the collection, but then added die cuts and chipboard pieces from others.  It’s nothing super fancy.  Still, look how eye-catching it is.  That’s the sign of a good collection.

A Slightly Better Grid

No, my grid skills haven’t improved any.  I just wanted to show you how to better hide the imperfections.  This layout is actually a couple of years old.  It uses my super special eyeballing technique as well.  Yes, I know I should have improved over time.  Let’s just say that it is a good thing I didn’t decide to build houses for a living.

So, why does this grid layout look better?  First of all, I altered the squares.  I rounded the opposite corners.  The curve helps trick the eye so that it isn’t looking for those rigid straight lines any more.  The squares are also smaller, so any imperfections are smaller as well.  One other difference is that the squares aren’t spaced exactly the same distance apart.  If you look down the middle, that gap is larger than the others.  It was done purposefully.  By using varied spacing, flaws are more easily overlooked.  Some squares are also doubled, which draws the eye to the added dimension, rather than the lines.  (That bit doesn’t really show up in the photograph.)

New Year's Resolutions

I actually love this layout.  It was way out of my comfort zone at the time I made it.  I only used supplies that were on my desk.  It was so fun to use random scraps that I might otherwise not put together.  The embellishments are a bit all over the map, though I tried to stick with hearts and stars.  The luggage and the coffee pieces are related to my resolutions.  So they fit the theme of the page.  The craziness of this page truly represents all of the things going on in my head.  It’s me!

I will get back to Disney layouts soon.  It was just time for a change of pace.  It can’t all be about the mouse!

 

Imperfect Grid

I know this confession will shock y’all.  I eyeball everything.  Cuts are measured fairly accurately.  We won’t talk about how neither of my paper trimmers seem to be able to cut in a straight line.  When it comes to actually placing my papers down, yeah, I eyeball it… which works most of the time.  When does it backfire?  Those VERY rare times that I try to make a geometric or grid type of layout.

I did put a little extra effort into this one.  I used a straightedge and everything.  Still, you can clearly see where some squares aren’t quite right.  (Is it any wonder that it took me 10 years to hang up my pictures in my house?  I don’t even own a level!)  I really should have measured everything out perfectly and used more than one straight edge while I was laying it out.  *Sigh*

Ocean View

Is there anything else I would have done differently?  Yes.  I wish I had layered a slightly larger square below each of the squares you see.  Maybe a cream or light grey would have been nice.  They just need SOMETHING to make them stand out from the white background.  I would have also typed out the journaling.  I just don’t like how it looks in that square.

So, is there anything I like?  Absolutely!  I am honestly thrilled to get those chipboard banners used.  Another win was the use of the project life/journal card behind the photo.  You probably didn’t notice it.  It says, “Love These Little Things.”  It worked perfectly as a layer there.  I got it from a grab bag/box.  Since I don’t generally scrap with them, it was nice to get one out of my stash.  Overall, the “sprinkle embellishments here and there” is also just really freeing.  That part was effortless and fun.  And the best part?  I got rid of some of those pesky scraps that have been piling up on my desk.

Oh, and that ocean view?  That’s an incredible lookout point just south of Cannon Beach, Oregon.  If you ever visit, and you should, be prepared for a busy little town.  If you are heading to the beach, get there early.  There is minimal parking, and it fills up quickly.  We rented a house just out of town.  It was far enough away in the woods to feel completely secluded, while just minutes from the main drag of town.