Almost Perfect

I don’t photograph well.  Okay, maybe I just don’t like pictures of me at all.  I know I can’t be the only one!  That being said, I LOVE this series of photos from Pandora in Animal Kingdom.  That photographer needs a serious raise.  It’s not that I look super glamorous or beautiful… It’s that he captured the playfulness and joy.  After seeing these photos, I wish I had gotten his name.  I would definitely have sent a cast compliment to Disney.

Though I am not completely in love with the color scheme or papers of this layout, I am still fairly happy with it.  I was inspired by the “You And Me” journaling card.  I felt like the sentiment was just right for these photos.  Based on that, I decided on black, white, red, and kraft.  The polka dot papers are a tad bit too much together.  It would have been better if I went with a solid red, or a red paper with a subtle tone on tone pattern.  Why did I make this mistake?  I am determined to use the papers from the Disney collections I purchased.  In this case, it would have been better to have mixed the Disney paper with something else from my stash.  When will I ever learn that I can’t force things to work?


You and Me

There wasn’t a lot of room for embellishment on this particular layout.  Fitting three 4×6 photos along with a title card was no easy task.  This is why most of my layouts feature only one or two photos.  In this case, I found some flowers that I had cut out from my Silhouette.  Originally those flowers were white and blue.  I simply used some red and black ink in order to make them fit my needs. I also added in some cute little wood veneer hearts.  Lastly, I added in some stickers and gems.

This layout is almost perfect.  It does have a few flaws.  I now see that I need to add in another flower near the “Love this” sticker.  Without that flower, it looks unbalanced.  There is a rule of threes for a reason!  There are also too many polka dots even for me.  Despite it’s flaws, I love it.  This is one of those pages I will really cherish.

Disney tip:  If you get phenomenal service from a cast member at DisneyWorld, you can send them a compliment via Twitter.  You can Tweet to @WDWToday, identify the incredible cast member, and use the hashtag #CastCompliment.  We did this after a cast member went above and beyond to solve a photopass issue.  I was thrilled that @WDWToday responded, so I knew they had received my message.

Much Too Busy

The title of this post describes both my life and my latest layout.  The holidays were both wonderful and exhausting.  Once we made it past that flurry of activity, then I was dealing with oral surgery.  (Boo!)  And now work is keeping me hopping.  I didn’t scrapbook for a month!  Oh how I missed playing with all of the beautiful paper that was just sitting there, unloved.  I admit that it felt great to be able to create again.

Sadly, I am not in love with my first creation in months.  I had decided to challenge myself to use a very busy piece of paper featuring fireworks.  My thought was to cover much of the busy background with photos and a solid piece of cardstock.  Though it sounded good in theory, it’s still far too much to process.  I think that background is distracting from the photos.  *sigh*


So why did I choose to use this side of the paper?  This is one of those papers in a collection where both sides were super busy.  Though the “B” side has fewer colors, it features strips of tickets.  Since I had photos that included fireworks, it just made more sense to use a firework paper.  I think if I were to do it all over again, I would use a much smaller strip of the fireworks paper.

It may not be perfect, but at least I have 3 more photos scrapped and ready to place in my vacation album.  Another bonus, I used up some die-cut and chipboard pieces that I bought specifically for our Disney vacation.  For a while, I wasn’t using many of the papers and embellishments that I purchased.  It makes me feel so much better to see those supplies beginning to find their way onto layouts.

Disney tip:  EPCOT is surprisingly dark at night.  Though the World Showcase was fairly easy to navigate in the dark, Future World was a bit of a challenge for two newbies.  We made the mistake of arriving at EPCOT late, without having much knowledge of the park.  Yes, we used the My Disney Experience app. to help us, but it still required some time and patience.  (Something we were a bit short of on arrival day.)  The lighting issues may change as much of Future World is currently under construction.

Not My Style

In order to put a dent into my vacation photos, I needed to incorporate a few Project Life style pages.  The upside of the page protectors is that I can just slide a few photos in without having to do anything to them at all.  I’ve filled both the front and back of this page protector, so that’s 6 photos “scrapped” within this page protector.  (There are floating mountains on the back side of the page.)

The downside is that I sincerely struggle with the spaces that don’t have photos!  I am not sure why anything smaller than a 12 x 12 page just completely flummoxes me.  I have the same challenge with card making.  As soon as you shrink down the working space, it’s like I have no scrapping instincts at all.  For this page, I was left with two 6 x 6 sized slots that needed something in them.  I didn’t have any additional photos from my meet and greet with Dug and Russell, so that wasn’t an option.  *Sigh*


M is for Magic

For this page, I decided that the best solution to this problem was a title square and a journaling square.  I know… it isn’t the most creative solution, but I was at a loss.

I started with the title.  I decided to use a cut-apart instead of individual letters.  Using alphabet letters would have left too much empty space.  To be completely honest, I am also forcing myself to use as many of the cut-aparts as I can.  Usually they sit in my stash for eons, just waiting for me to figure out a way to use them.  I liked that I could make a clean stacked square format using the “M is for magic” piece along with some blue cardstock.  To add dimension I raised up the title onto pop dots.  I also included a piece of red ribbon and a flat backed brad.

The journal block is a rectangle rather than a square.  Part of me thinks it would have looked better had both blocks been stacked squares.  However, I wanted more room to write.  I knew that the two die-cuts were going to eat up some of the writing space.  Function won out on this layout.  Still, the lack of balance is going to bug me until the end of time.  If I can’t let it go, I may actually redo that block.  Though I won’t ever pull a page apart and start over, I could see redoing a block.  Maybe that’s the beauty of the divided page protectors?  Otherwise they just can’t compete with my beloved 12×12 layouts.

Today’s Disney tip is about character meets.  The Russell and Dug meet and greet is in Animal Kingdom at Discovery Island.  As I was walking up, the characters were leaving.  If this happens to you, go ahead and get in line!  It only took about 5 minutes for the characters to return.  They take a break about every 30 minutes, so don’t despair!



I seriously love Disney movies.  Shocking, I know.  The first 5-10 minutes of Up is amazing.  I will neither confirm nor deny that I cry every single time I see it.  When I heard that Disney was bringing Kevin to Animal Kingdom right before our trip, I was thrilled.

I knew that she was a wandering character, so I was really hoping that we would cross her path.  Luck was truly on our side this trip.  We encountered Kevin several times during our visits.  The nice thing about Kevin is that she is hard to miss.  She is so tall!  She doesn’t stop for photo ops, so you aren’t likely to get that perfect picture with her.  You can see that my pictures were crowd shots.


Since Kevin is such a colorful creature, I knew I wanted an eye-catching page to match.  I pulled orange, teal, and red scraps to place behind the photo.  Originally, I was using a white cardstock background.  Somehow that just looked too stark.  So, a little rummaging led me to this very bright green background.  It does such a nice job of setting off the photos.  I knew I wanted to add a bit of blue as well, so I also included that navy strip along with another piece of the turquoise paper.

This was a pretty easy layout to put together.  I was either copying a page I had picked up off of Pinterest, or looking at a sketch.  (I created this page about a month ago.)  Normally I would link the original here, but I can’t find that Pin anywhere!  The only real challenge was figuring out how to make the Mickey head.  It finally dawned on me that I just needed to use my big circle cutter.  The trick is to make sure you cut out the inside of the circle first and then the outside.  (Yeah, I may have learned that a couple of years ago when I clearly wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.)

The rest of the embellishments just came from a die-cut pack and some gems.  I was actually pretty happy with finding a good use for those flower die-cuts.  They sat in my collection for quite some time because I don’t think I’ve ever used a compatible color scheme.  The one change that I am going to make is the placement of the black gem on the Mickey head.  Now that I am looking at it on screen, it appears that Mickey has developed an unusual growth that needs to be checked.  I will move it a bit lower so that it is floating and not touching poor Mickey.

I love this layout.  It’s colorful and quirky just like Kevin.  It also was a nice way to use up some scraps.  That always makes me happy.

Disney tip:  Make sure to do your homework before leaving for Disney.  I knew Kevin would be roaming around the park, and made sure to keep an eye out for him in certain areas of Animal Kingdom.  My research helped me get pictures with the living statues at Epcot during the Festival of the Arts.  We also got to see Gideon and Prince John in Magic Kingdom.  Without reading ahead of time, I may have completely missed these characters as they aren’t regulars with an assigned spot.

The View

There are a million wonderful things about Disney World.  One of my absolute favorites is the dining options.  You see, I am allergic to dairy.  It’s not the, “This makes me uncomfortable,” kind of allergy.  It’s the, “Where’s the hospital?” kind of allergy.  In general, eating out simply isn’t safe for me.  The magic of Disney dining is that they have options safe for those of us with severe allergies.

Since dinner out is a special treat, we definitely splurged on this trip.  One of our special meals was at the California Grill.  I won’t lie, it was spendy, but so worth the expense.  I ordered a vegan meal that I swear could feed 3 people.  I’m not vegan, but the options sounded so good, I decided to give it a go.  The food was delicious.  I had a flatbread with pears that was to die for.  It was accompanied by a truffle pasta dish that kept me coming back for more.  Believe it or not, that was just half of the meal!

Though the food was incredible, it was the view that will guarantee my return.  Thanks to a little Disney magic, we were seated next to the window.  We looked directly out onto the castle and Tomorrowland.    I loved spending a relaxing evening gazing out on the Magic Kingdom.  Even my husband, who has never been a Disney fan, was impressed.  He took the photo that I decided had to be scrapped

The View

The photo itself doesn’t have much color to it. I chose the blue background to match the little bits of blue on the castle.  The red heart in the lower right hand corner is part of the background paper, so I found a matching red scrap that formed the banner beneath the photo.  I also wanted to make sure I was using the cut apart sheets from Say Cheese II by Simple Stories.  I have such a difficult time using cut aparts on my pages.  This notebook lined paper cut apart was good for a bit of journaling, so it was perfect for the page. I then added a scrap of grid paper to place behind the photo.

When I placed all of the papers, they blended into each other too much.  I decided to ink the edges to make them stand out.  I am not a neat inker.  In some ways I like the distressed look it gives.  The perfectionist in me just sighs, though.  Maybe I should have outlined each piece using a ruler and a black marker.  Then again, I usually make a disaster of that too!

After that, it was time to place the title and embellishments.  You all know that’s the bane of my scrappy existence.  You know what?  I actually like how I embellished this layout.  That just about never happens!  The upper left is simply embellished with a die cut piece that I popped up with foam adhesive.  A few tiny glittery hearts finishes off that cluster.  I am really pleased how the bottom right turned out.  In this case I became a renegade and broke all of the rules.  Okay, I broke one rule.  My embellishments don’t touch.  They just float.  The castle helped fill the empty space next to the title.  Then I added the cloud to help bridge the space between the castle and the photo.  It works well, because clouds float!

Disney tip:  If you eat dinner at the California Grill, you can watch the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the restaurant or a reserved viewing area at the top of the Contemporary Resort.  We ate at 5:00 and could have returned a few hours later to watch from the viewing area.  As this was our first trip, we didn’t opt to go back.  Instead we waited an hour on Main Street in order to find a good spot to watch the castle projections as well.  Next time we may make reservations closer to the fireworks show time and forgo the hour of standing shoulder to shoulder with a mass of people.

Scrapping a Ceiling?

I have a weird obsession.  I love ceilings.  My own ceiling is smooth, white, and quite boring.   There are so many incredible ceilings out there, though.  Just about every time I walk into a building, I look up.  The patterns and architecture just draw me in.  Is it any wonder that I took pictures of the ceilings at the Animal Kingdom Resort?  Yes, I know it is an odd thing to make a layout about, but it’s just so me.

Today’s page features three different ceilings all found in the Animal Kingdom Resort.  The first is a thatched roof in the entryway of Kidani Village.  The middle photo is of the ceiling in Sanaa.  I love the intricacies and detail work of this ceiling.  The wandering veins of the “leaves” and the many textures just make this so interesting.  Last, is the entry way of Jambo House.  The symmetry and repeated patterns are simply beautiful.  Yep, I am a ceiling nerd aficionado.

When I was choosing papers, I wasn’t sure what to do with such dark photos.  In the end, I decided to embrace some of the darkness, and balance it out with just a bit of lightness.  My first choice was the brick red grid paper.  You can find that color in the art and decorations throughout the resort.  I also picked out the black and brown polka dot to parallel the wood.  The multicolored background paper was a nice choice because it was far lighter while repeating some of the colors found in the photos.  My final choice was the leaf paper that I used to mat the photos.  Normally I wouldn’t use a bright white when I have a creamy background paper, but I think it works here.  There is a decent separation between the cream and the white on the page so they don’t clash.  I also wanted the added brightness to set off the photos well.  (I am actually pretty pleased with the leaf paper, especially since it’s from a 6×6 pad.  I bet you didn’t even notice the seam.)

Love Animal Kingdom

Once I got all of the papers glued, I was just stuck.  I mean, what kind of embellishments go with ceiling photos?  Since I don’t own anything that matches the African art pieces, I was at a loss.  Finally, I pulled the gold Thickers, doily, and chipboard pieces.  The gold works well with the rich colors.  After quite a bit of digging, I added the poppy at the bottom.  Though I did want to add some journaling, I didn’t really have a good place to put it.  In this case, the journaling will have to go on the back of the page.

Disney tip:  If you choose to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, explore both Jambo house and Kidani village.  The artwork alone is worth the time spent outside of the parks.  Transportation between the two parts of the resort is fantastic.  There is a shuttle that goes back and forth all day long.  We had it completely to ourselves both directions of our trip.  It’s a nice 4ish minute drive in the comfort of air conditioning.

A Game of Cat and Mouse

With Halloween coming up, I thought I wold share a little trick-or-treat fun.  I had a beautiful fall collection, but I rarely take autumn themed photos.  Why buy a collection that didn’t work with any of my pictures?  Because it was pretty, of course!  Buying scrapbook supplies isn’t always a logical process for me.  Though I did have some Halloween photos of these two cuties.  Halloween is in the fall, so why not use the pretty papers?

I tried to choose the papers that matched the colors in the photos.  Specifically, I was looking at the wall color in the background.  First I pulled that green tone on tone paper.  See the wall just to the left of little miss mouse?  That greenish hue was my inspiration for this choice.  Then I wanted to pull an orange paper, but the orange in the collection didn’t quite work.  So I decided that the brown was the next best thing.  Though I love those papers, they were missing the fun vibe that I was going for with this layout.  So, I settled upon the multi-color leaf paper for the background.  That paper changes the mood to something much more uplifting.

Cat and Mouse

I knew that I wanted this to be a basic square within a square within a square layout.  (Okay, so the green isn’t a square.  It’s a rectangle.  I’m a math teacher.  I know the geometric rules.)  I also knew I wanted to use the large maroon sticker letters.  When I cut my papers, I made sure to leave enough room for the title.  (That’s why the green paper wound up being a rectangle.)  I opted for smaller letters up top in order to accommodate this longer title.

Then came the dreaded embellishing.  I am not happy, people.  For some reason, I just couldn’t figure this one out.  Yes, I always struggle with embellishing.  Usually it eventually comes together.  This time… not so much.  I do really like the witch and cat brads that I used.  Other than that, I think my embellishment clusters are a mess.  The one at the top isn’t so bad.  The smaller size helps.  The bottom cluster is just some diagonal made out of various shapes.

So what do I do now?  I leave it.  Not every page is going to be spectacular.  I could tear it apart and redo it, but that doesn’t guarantee a better outcome.  It does guarantee that another page doesn’t get completed.  Instead, I choose to move on to the next project.  Scrapbooking is supposed to be fun!  I have too many lovely photos and new papers to play with to spend time stressing about one page.

Besides, everyone should be looking at the cutest cat and mouse on the planet.  They are the stars of this page.  They will treasure the photos far more than any paper or stickers I use.

Scrapping With Flowers

I mentioned in my last post that I rarely use flowers, so I thought I would share a layout I did earlier this year that used flowers.  (Besides, you probably need a break from Disney layouts.  I know I do!)  When I began scrapbooking over a decade ago, I didn’t know what my scrapbooking style was.  Let’s be real… I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a scrapbooking style.  During that time I bought flowers and butterflies galore.  It turns out that I love using butterflies, flowers… not so much.

Since I am far too cheap, ahem, frugal to give them away, I do try to use flowers now and then.  The garden theme of the photos, paired with Bo Bunny’s Olivia collection was the perfect opportunity to use up some of my flower stash.  For once, I am pretty pleased with the result.  I feel like the groupings I created here work much better than the ones in my Coco layout.  They are less linear making them look a bit more natural.  The groupings also use a variety of types of flowers that add more interest.  I have paper, cloth, and sticker flowers mixed in there.

in progress

The overall composition of this layout is simple, but I love it!  Really I just started with two blocks of paper.  There is the journal block and the photo block.  How easy is that?!  I used a diagonal design so that your eye moves from the upper right corner down to the lower left.  The flowers help to keep the layout from becoming too “blocky” by providing some rounded edges.  I used the title to fill in the gap between the two blocks to help soften it as well.

I think that if there is a lesson to be learned here, it is not to buy a ton of supplies when you first begin scrapbooking.  It takes time for you to figure out what your style is.  You will see beautiful layouts that you fall in love with, but may later realize that they just aren’t for you when you start creating.  Buy a little at a time, play, and enjoy yourself.  Experimenting is part of the fun!

Not Quite Right

Sometimes when I am scrapbooking, I know something isn’t quite right, but I just can’t put a finger on it.  That’s what happened as I was scrapbooking this Coco layout from the Mexico pavilion at Epcot.  (Which is AMAZING btw!)  I knew the colors were right, especially with the purple and orange pieces.  It wasn’t that the paper strips were wonky.  I did that on purpose.  Now that I am looking at it on the screen, I think I get it.

Embellishment clusters should come in threes.  In this case, I only did two.  I think the lack of a third is what is driving me batty.  So, I am going to do something unusual for me.  I’m going to pull that layout back out and work on it again.  (I know… I know… this is NOT me.  I don’t EVER go back.)  In this case, I think it is a quick fix where I won’t have to tear anything apart.  I will pull a few more purple, pink, and orange flowers to go in the upper left corner of the photo.  That will create the visual triangle that I am missing!  Why couldn’t I see it when I was creating?  Who knows?


I honestly don’t use a lot of this type of flower.  It doesn’t generally work with my style.  In this case, it just made sense.  When I looked at the “Remember Me” sign, I knew this layout HAD to have flowers.  It’s also not a color combo that I would generally use, but the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altar in the photo is clearly purple and orange with some pink undertones.  The page needed to reflect the content of the photo.  I know I haven’t exactly captured the beauty in the photo, but I wanted to represent the feel.

Disney tip:  We found Epcot a little difficult to plan for during our trip.  The FastPasses in Epcot are tiered, meaning you can only reserve one popular ride before you head into the park that day.  For us, that meant making FastPasses for more than one day.  The issue was that there wasn’t enough left that we wanted to FastPass in the rest of the park.  With the World Showcase not opening until 11:00 in the morning, rope dropping was a bit frustrating.  I think in the future, I would choose to start in Magic Kingdom and then hop over to Epcot with FastPasses in the afternoon for one day of the trip.  I would then rope drop Epcot another day, and save my FastPasses for another park in the afternoon.  That way we could get all of the big attractions done without eating 6 FastPasses to do so.

Sketches Are My Favorite Things


I do love sketches.  You may have noticed that I have linked a sketch with most of my vacation layouts.  When you are trying to scrap 250 photos, it is nice to not have to think quite so much.  (Yes, yes, I could put more photos on a page… and I will.  However, I really like 1 and 2 photo layouts.)  As I have said before, sketches also get me out of my comfort zone.  I purposely choose sketches that are different than my typical style.  You can’t learn if you don’t try new things!

There really are a plethora of sketches available online.  Of course you could be like me and stalk Pinterest in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep.  There are plenty of scrapbooking sketch boards to look through there.  Most large online scrapbook stores offer forums that have sketch challenges or have sketch challenges on their Facebook pages. I am not affiliated with any scrapbooking businesses, so I won’t post them here.

For those of us in the blogosphere, there are a number of sketch blogs that should keep you busy for years.  I am going to link a few here, in case you don’t want to go blog hunting on your own.

The Scrap Our Stash Challenge Blog features a sketch each month along with examples of how designers have used it.  A random winner is drawn each month to receive a gift card.

Sketches In Thyme features a sketch 4 times a month with prizes provided by sponsors.

Sketch Savvy is a blog I’ve mentioned in a previous post.  It’s currently my go-to for fabulous sketches.

For this layout I used a sketch from one of my favorite scrappy stores.  I chose it for two reasons.  First, it is nothing like what I would come up with on my own.  Pretty much any time you see a white cardstock background, you know I’ve used a sketch or taken the idea from another scrapper.  Additionally, it eats up scraps!  Every piece of paper on this layout is a scrap.  You know how I love to use my scraps.

Universal Love

The process was super quick on this one.  I found 6 pieces of paper that went together fairly well from my scrap pile.  Then I cut each one down to the same size (roughly 3×4) before using a corner chomper on them.  It did take some fiddling for me to decide which pieces were going to go in which position.  Then I cut the banners from the remaining scraps.  I don’t have a banner punch, so I had to cut the banners by hand.  From there I added some twine, stickers, and flowers.  (Yes!  I finally found a project that used those tiny little flowers!  It’s the little things that excite me.)  The only daunting task for me was getting the twine tied around the brads at the top.  I may have had to count to ten a few times as the twine slipped and refused to behave.

Universal Studios tip:  Make sure you have your tickets purchased and with you before you get to the park.  The line for buying tickets can be awfully long in the morning.  They will let you into the park before opening, but will stop you shortly after you get inside.  We were able to do a little shopping before the park officially opened.