March of the First Scrapper

It is no secret that I am a geek.  I mean, my one act of rebellion in elementary school was playing Dungeons and Dragons in the library at recess.  Time has only introduced me to new levels of geekyness.  I have a small collection of comic books, my coffee cup says “Time Lord” on it, and somewhere around here I have the Darwin the dolphin action figure from seaQuest DSV.  Yes, I need an intervention.

What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t be surprised that I have an affinity for Star Wars.  Episode IV was my very first movie.  I was a toddler when my parents took me to the drive-in movies to see it.  Later, my dad took me into the big city to see Empire Strikes Back in a fancy theater.  I will never forget looking behind me the first time the fighters came flying onto the screen.  The sound system was so good, that I could swear there were really starships coming from behind me.  A few years later, I convinced my parents to take me to Return of the Jedi on opening night.  I just couldn’t wait any longer.

You can imagine my happiness while planning our Disney trip, when I found out Hollywood Studios had some Star Wars attractions.  For me it was a double bonus.  Not only would I get to see some of my favorite characters up close, it was something my husband could enjoy.  Disney is not his cup of tea.  He could turn into the beast while waiting in line for a character meet and greet.  But when it came to the Star Wars attractions, he was all in.

One of our favorites, was the March of the First Order.  We loved watching Captain Phasma and the storm troopers march along the street.  Since they did this every hour, we were able to get some fabulous spots for viewing.  Sadly, I hear that the show ends on July 7th.  With Galaxy’s Edge opening, it makes sense to move the Star Wars scenes from Hollywood Boulevard.

Captain Phasma

From that experience, the Captain Phasma page was borne.  Though the photos are from two different spots in the park, I realized I loved the color combination.  I could pull the orange and blue from the buildings in the background.  Normally I wouldn’t gravitate towards orange and an aqua blue, but they just seemed so perfect together.  Then I wanted to pull in some black and silver as well.  (Hello, it is Captain Phasma.)  As I went through my paper collection, I ran across that black and white background paper.  Is it just me, or does that pattern look a bit like TIE fighters?

As I searched for embellishments, I kept thinking that I needed more black and silver.  I found that white and silver ric rac that I used at the top.  Sadly, there wasn’t enough for the bottom of the layout.  So, I decided to go with a plain black ric rac for the lower edge of the orange paper.  The dark color has more visual weight, so it really needed to go on the bottom.  I found some silver brads (my nemesis… they never go where I want them to go), and some silver cardstock.  Lastly, I decided to use some black Thickers for the title.

I still didn’t know what I wanted for the right side of the photos.  More digging produced the “This is one of my favorite memories” card.  It wasn’t a perfect color match, but sometimes you just need to shrug and decide it is good enough.  I also found that black and white striped bag.  Luckily, they worked to fill the space perfectly.  The bag by itself was too plain, so I used my Sizzix to cut the star out of the silver cardstock which I popped up on a foam adhesive.

Honestly, I love the final product.  It’s such a simple layout, and yet it looks so different than my other pages.  For me, it is the colors that stand out.  Two bright colors against a distressed black and white background isn’t something I would typically choose.  This is one of the few times I can say that my photos and papers really worked to create a cohesive design.  I’m glad I ventured outside of my comfort zone.  As Yoda would say… “Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”


Speed Scrapping

Okay, okay, I am NOT a speed scrapper.  Even the most simple of layouts takes me FOREVER.  But when I really want to get something done, I stick to a simple formula.  Just stack a bunch of rectangles until you like the way they look.  That’s what I decided to do with today’s page.

The photographer at Hollywood Studios took a close-up photo of me.  At the time, I thought he was a little bit crazy.  However, when I saw the end product, I was pretty thrilled.  I mean, it’s a picture of me that I actually like!  That doesn’t happen very often.  He also got a great photo of my husband and I in front of the Chinese Theater.  Since they are taken from way different perspectives, they just didn’t work together on the same page.  So, I was left with this solo photo of me.

When I started pulling papers, I was going to go with the red, blue, silver color scheme from those R2D2 ears.  (Aren’t they adorable?  Oh how I love Etsy.)  Turns out, the only silver I had in my collection were some Thickers.  That just wasn’t going to be enough for an entire layout.  So instead, I adjusted to the red, blue, and yellow that you see in the finished product.  You can’t go wrong with primary colors.

Disney Tip:  If you want unique ears, search for them on Etsy.  I know ears can be a great souvenir from the house of mouse, but I wanted something special.  In my case, I wanted ears that reflected my favorite movies and characters.  I’ve loved R2D2 since I was 4 years old, so these ears by CraftyOliviaCuties were perfect for me.  If you follow along on my Disney adventures, you will spot several more sets of ears.

Happy Lady

One of the great things about stacking boxes, is that I can sift through my scraps and use them first.  In this case,  all of the red and yellow papers came from my scraps.  I didn’t have any blues in my scrap bin that worked with the blue cardstock background.  Being the thrifty soul that I am, I pulled out a DCWV paper pad that I purchased about a decade ago.  It had been gathering dust for quite some time.  (You see, I have become a paper snob that prefers the thicker papers.)  The blue polka dot I found was just perfect.  That led me to find the light blue chart paper in a 6×6 pad.

Once the papers were obtained, I just did a bit of rearranging until I was satisfied with how it looked.  Of course, that leaves me with a bunch of sharp edges in the design.  I actually don’t mind that so much.  However, I did soften some corners with the embellishment cluster up top and the title placement down below.  The word “happy” was quite purposely placed to overlap the blue and yellow papers just a bit.  The curvy letters take away a bit of the sharpness of the lines.

Oh, and after finishing this layout, I decided to use the scraps to make a card.  Since I already had papers that worked well together, it was a snap to create another simple project.  That’s right, I am using scraps from my scraps.  I don’t like anything to go to waste.

Thank you wagon



Starting Simple

When you are looking at 250 photos from a vacation, it can be difficult to find a place to start.  Normal people probably sit down and organize their photos in chronological order and start at the beginning.  I am not normal!  (Yes, I can hear the collective surprised gasp.)  I did do some organizing of photos.  Since our pictures were a combination of my photos, my husband’s photos, and the photos we got from Disney, my first step was just putting like photos together.  The Kylo Ren pictures were seriously in 3 different places in the stack I received from the printer.  After an hour of playing match the photos, I had everything together that should be together.

If you’ve been following along with me, you know I do not scrap in Chronological order at all.  It should be no surprise that I didn’t even consider starting with our first night at Epcot.  Instead I decided to start with what I was looking forward to the most… Adventureland.  To me, it is the most perfect part of Magic Kingdom.  I wanted my husband’s first ride to be Pirate’s of the Caribbean.  It’s just classic Disney done right.  Add to that the campy Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room and throw in a Dole Whip… well, it’s just a land of happiness for me.

Which Way To

My husband took this photo of the entrance to Adventureland as we were first arriving that morning.  Even though it isn’t the most beautiful of pictures, it makes me smile just looking at it.  The dark colors of the photos with the spikes at the top immediately drew me to this arrow print.  I pulled the other papers from the colors of the arrows and put together a quick simple page.  A sticker, some ephemera, and a couple of chipboard stars is all I used for embellishment.  If I am going to get all of those photos scrapped, I can’t spend a ton of time anguishing over the little details.

Disney tips and tricks:

It’s a good idea to get to Magic Kingdom at rope drop.  Better yet, get there at least a half hour BEFORE rope drop.  This park is PACKED.  On this particular morning, cast members weren’t even scanning fingerprints in order to expedite the entry process.  It probably took us 20-30 minutes of standing in line to get through security and tap our Magic bands to get into the park.

If you don’t have little ones that would like to visit Fantasyland, head left and go into Adventureland first.  We were able to work our way through Adventureland and Frontierland in the first couple hours after the park opened.  We hit up Pirates, Tiki Room, Splash Mountain, Country Bears Jamboree, ate a Dole Whip, did a quick photoshoot at Big Thunder (it was down that morning), and sat to enjoy the ambiance.  It was about as relaxing as Magic Kingdom gets.  By noon it was wall to wall people.


Disney Adventure

I know it has been forever since I’ve posted any scrappy happiness here.  A mixture of work, craziness at home, and lack of inspiration has stopped me in my scrapping tracks.  It happens to the best of us.  Once summer hits, I will be back to posting regularly.

Though I am in a scrapping rut, I do have PLENTY of new photos to scrap.  We went on our first vacation in over a decade.  Where does a middle-aged childless couple choose to go on vacation for the first time since the honeymoon?  Why DisneyWorld of course!  (Let’s be real… my husband was not as excited as I was about this.  He was a good sport.)  After returning from our trip, I discovered we had roughly 800 photos.  I went through them and printed the 250 that I REALLY wanted.  So yeah, now I have 250 photos to scrap.

At this point the math teacher in me kicks in.  250 photos averaging 2 photos per page is 125 layouts.  Layouts created in the first 5 months of this year = 10.  So, I’m making 2 layouts a month.  125 divided by 2 = 62.5 months.  I will be done scrapping this vacation in 5 years and 3 months.  Ack!  Enough math.  Let’s look at something pretty.



This was our view of the fireworks our first night at Magic Kingdom.  It was absolutely beautiful and insanely crowded!  We stood in place for an hour waiting for the show to start just so we could get a place where short little me could see the projections on the castle.  Luckily I had read enough beforehand to know the perfect place.  Directly in front of us was a walkway where people couldn’t stop and stand in front of us.  Even my perturbed husband (who hates waiting for anything) said it was worth the wait.

We spent 10 days exploring all of the Disney parks.  Believe it or not, 10 days was not enough to see everything.  I still have a list of things I would like to do.  Maybe once I get all of these photos scrapped I can convince my husband to go back to the house of mouse.

Here are a few more beauties that will someday find themselves amongst the pretty papers and embellishments.  You can see Spaceship Earth, sunset on the safari, and the Toy Story Land toys.


As I begin to post my layouts, I will include information about our trip.  If you are interested in what it’s like to plan a Disney trip for the first time, follow along!

Weird Gadget

This layout was inspired by a punch.  You see, one of my friends gave me some of her old scrapbook supplies.  There were eyelets, ribbons, and this really odd punch.  The punch caught my attention, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  So, it sat with my other punches for a couple of years.  What do you do with this weird concave square-ish thing with no lines of symmetry?  Every time I saw that punch, it would just get under my skin.

Finally, after a night of insomnia, I grabbed that punch and started in on some of my small scrap pieces like a wild woman.  I chose mostly pastel papers and punched each scrap as many times as I could.  Some of my scrap papers are much too small to justify keeping.  This was a good way to clean out my paper bin.  I knew that if I wound up hating the design, the only thing lost was time.


I found some photos of our yard when we had it redone.  They seemed like a good match for the spring-like color palette.  Then I matted them with that pink floral and added a yellow punched border. Normally I would have gone through my larger scraps to find the photo mat.  However, I have SO MUCH PAPER right now, that I find myself being a little less frugal.  I actually want to cut into and get some full sheets used.

Now it was time for the real work… laying out all of those punched pieces.  At first I utilized a ruler.  I was going to use the straight edge and make sure everything was lined up perfectly.  Yeah, my patience for that didn’t even last through the top row.  Instead, I eyeballed the whole thing.  (It’s a weird shape!  Does it really matter if it isn’t perfect?)  I didn’t do any gluing until I had every punched piece where I wanted it.  Then I used some Tombow liquid glue to get them all down.

After everything was dry, I started digging through all of my small embellishments.  I can’t believe that I found exactly what I was looking for to finish off the page.  What you see is a mix of resin flowers, chipboard pieces from American Crafts and Basic Grey, puffy stickers, and enamel hearts.  I wanted the embellishments to be the same color as the punched paper.

I love how this page looks.  I was actually excited as I put it together.  That little punch took me out of my comfort zone, making me try something new.  Now I need to go thank my friend for giving me the gift of creativity… even though she won’t have any memory of giving me that superbly weird punch.

Close up

The Paper’s So Bright

I don’t do a lot of super bright scrapbook pages.  When you live in the dark and dreary Pacific Northwest, bright colors just don’t work with a lot of your pictures.  I really liked the look of the DIY collection by Simple Stories when I bought it online eons ago.  However, once it arrived, I realized how bright the B sides are.  Since I do a lot of B side scrapping, I’ve had some trouble using this collection.  For the most part, it’s been sitting untouched on a shelf.  It was time to get it onto a page.

My first challenge was to find some appropriate photographs to go along with those neon colors.  It really didn’t take much digging to find some water photos that featured bright yellow kayaks.  Yes!  That would work perfectly… well, almost perfectly.  I knew that the red life jacket would clash with the pink that I had in mind.  You know what?  Rules are made to be broken.


I knew I wanted a patterned paper to tie everything together.  Though flowers may not be the first thing you think of when kayaking among the dry hills, I chose it anyway.  (Yes, I am in full on rebel mode it seems.)  Not only did it contain all of the colors in the collection, but it was on a black background.  The water in the top photo is so dark that it looks black.  I felt it connected the colors of the photo back in with the colors of the paper.  Additionally, I matted the photo with green.  The dark pictures on top of the dark paper didn’t work well.

I swear that I never have embellishments in the right colors.  It took me some digging to find the right things for this page.  First I found the bright pink journaling card.  I couldn’t believe how the flowers on the card matched with the collection.  It was almost like it was meant to be.  Then I found the tag and pieces for the top cluster.  It always amazes me when I can put together a cluster made from multiple different collections.  The bottom circle cluster was a bit more difficult to make work.  I liked the globe from one of Shimelle’s collection.  This certainly was an adventure for me.  Then I found the “happy DAY” sticker.  And then I couldn’t find anything else.  Finally, I decided to punch a circle out of the paper I used for the mat.  It looked much too plain.  After quite a bit of trial and error, I decided to add that bright pink brad.

You may have noticed that this page has no title.  I decided to omit one for a couple of reasons.  First, I couldn’t find a good placement for it.  My gut told me to put it up in the yellow at the top, but that just looked funny.  Another option was in the sky portion of the bottom photo.  I thought it interrupted the beautiful symmetry.  (Forgive me.  I am a math teacher.  I love symmetry.)  In the end, I decided the page has plenty of words without the addition of a title.  Who says every page requires a title anyway?



It’s Never Too Early

If I don’t get started on my Christmas cards now, I will never get them finished.  They aren’t even that fancy.  If I were a normal person I would find a design, buy the materials for it, and then mass produce everything.  Yeah, I am not normal.  That would be much too efficient.  No, I almost always make every card unique.  (Full disclosure:  I want to use the supplies that I have.  Since I don’t buy multiples of papers, I can’t make cards in batches.)

So far I have made five cards.  My goal this year was to use my stamps because I am a notorious stamp collector.   Those beautiful stamps sit on the shelf collecting dust for years.  I chose two cards that feature stamped images.  I think both can be reproduced using different papers.

The tree card makes me happy.  I like the little banners sticking out the side.  I also like that the tree is so easy to cut out!  (Thank you Unity Stamp Company.)  Rounded edges are a nightmare for my unsteady hands.  Yay for straight lines!  I think I will go through my scraps and use this design a few more times.  The one problem I had was the sentiment.  I was trying to find something that would show up on the navy and white patterned paper.  I thought the tinsel embossing powder was my best bet.  I was wrong.  Silver would probably have been a better choice.

The season’s tweetings card was really a bit different for me.  I am not used to coloring images.  It just isn’t my thing.  So I did my best with some water color pencils.  I colored one set and then used a water pen to help blend the colors.  That didn’t work out well.  The black ink smeared and the colors ran into each other.  I may need to use a different type of stamping ink.  So I did this second set like I would with regular colored pencils.  Though simple, I liked it much better.

Then came the adventure of using the little dies to cut everything without having to use scissors.  I really didn’t think things through when I stamped the images.  They were all so close together that I couldn’t cut everything out at once.  Nope.  I had to run it through for each piece.  I also struggled a bit with die placement.  You can’t see exactly where you are cutting, so you have to do a bit of hoping for the best.  I will be far better prepared the next time I use those cute Freckled Fawn stamp and die sets.

At this point I am done with winter scrapping.  It’s time to move onto some new themes!

More Imperfect Photos

In my last post, I shared why I was scrapping the poor quality photos of my cats.  I decided to continue on with the imperfect photo scrapping this week.  This week’s subject is snow.  (Yes, I am sticking with the winter theme while dealing with 90 degree heat.)  It’s difficult to get a clear photo of snow as it comes down at night.  I am afraid that this is the best I could do.

For this layout, I decided to work with the slight purple tint in the photos.  It’s rare that I get to scrapbook using purple.  In fact, for the longest time it was nearly impossible to find purple in collections.  When it did appear in a collection, usually there was only a single sheet.  Over the years, I collected sheets here and there.  Of course, they were different tones that didn’t work together.  So I am thrilled to see the addition of purple and lavender in more papers lately.

The papers in this layout are from all different sources.  This is truly a case of mixing and matching brands.  I even cheated a bit.  Do you see that dark purple piece in the bottom right hand corner?  It is from a box of cards that I bought.  The box had index dividers that separated each design.  When I was done with the cards, I saved the colorful dividers for later use.  I simply cut off the rounded edges and it worked perfectly.

One thing I did to make the layout look cohesive despite a variety of papers in different styles was to mat everything on black cardstock.  That little black edge just pulled all of the papers together.  It also allowed the papers to pop.  Without the black outline, it just looked a little blah.  And as a bonus, I was able to incorporate a few black embellishments.


I decided to go with aqua embellishments for a couple of reasons.  Remember how I said it was difficult to find purple papers?  Well, it is even more difficult to find purple embellishments.  I simply didn’t have much to use.  My next obvious choice was aqua.  I had used an aqua mat around the photos.  The light color was a good choice for showcasing the dark pictures.  I have no shortage of aqua embellishments.  Though I could have chosen the yellow or red found in the background paper, I preferred to stick to cool colors.  This is snow after all!

When I went looking for embellishments, I was searching for a few  particular things.  Though I originally only pulled in aqua pieces, I quickly realized I needed a bit of black as well.  It just looked a little off when I first placed my embellishment clusters.  The black tied in with the mats around each paper.  I also needed something to break up the harsh blocks.  Pieces with curves would help soften the look.  Lastly, I needed something to add dimension.  Stickers and die cuts are flat.  (Though I did use some foam dots to help raise the house and large snowflake.)  The pearls were a good option.  They provide texture without adding in another color.

This is one of the layouts that I really loved when I finished.  It’s just enough different from my normal layouts to make it stand out a bit.  Both the color scheme and addition of black make me really happy.

Fa La La La La

I know it is August, but for once, my scrapping is sticking to a theme.  I am on a mission to finish up my Christmas pictures from the last decade.  Be honest.  That sounds impressive… at least until you find out I rarely take Christmas pictures.

Originally, I hadn’t planned on scrapping a lot of these kitty photos.  They aren’t great pictures.  And then my little Dakota passed away right before Christmas.  Suddenly, I felt like it didn’t matter if the photos were “good enough.”  I just really wanted them given a place in my scrapbooks.  It’s funny how even the smallest of priorities change when you lose a furry friend.

Enough with the sadness, and on with the layout!

Under the Tree

This is a pretty common design for me.  Most of the time I have one plain background paper with a more elaborate patterned paper on the bottom two thirds of the layout.  In this case, I didn’t use one patterned paper.  I used strips from both sides of an old Fancy Pants paper.  In this case, I really liked the added dimension of overlapping the strips, as well as including the beige ribbon.  I also didn’t stick to the 1/3 and 2/3 rule.  In this case, the strips cover just over half of the layout.  I wanted to leave some room up top for the title and tag.

The embellishment, like always, is pretty simple.  I started with the tag for journaling and the large quote sticker.  I love that sticker for this layout.  I feel like the kitties under the tree are a more important Christmas tradition than the gifts that get put there.  (The kitties are not happy about their spot being usurped by presents.)  A few chipboard pieces and sequins sprinkled, and the layout is done.

Oh, I do want to point out the title.  For once it wasn’t an afterthought!  I knew I wanted to mix 2 small fonts and have it intermingle a bit with the embellishment above the tag.  My crowning achievement was using tile stickers.  They actually are straight and don’t look awkward!  Score!  Yes, I am overly proud of myself for a very small achievement.  Just give this to me.  🙂

If you take nothing else away from this scrappy post, please remember that it is alright to scrap the less than perfect photos.  They can’t all be professional quality prints.  Well, unless you are a professional photographer of course!


Why I Don’t Do 2 Page Layouts

There are a lot of fabulous 2 page layouts that you can find on the web.  Some people have a gift for making creative multiple photo pages that work together perfectly.  Those people have super powers.  I am not one of those people.

In 12 years of scrapping, I have attempted 2 page layouts twice.  Sigh.  Both were lacking creativity.  Seriously.  I know that I am an average everyday scrapper.  But still, how is it that I can’t get beyond throwing some paper down and lining photos up into a neat and tidy row?  Here is my proof…

it bounces

I based this off of one Shimelle Laine’s layouts from her 4×6 photo love series.  If you love scrapping 4×6 photos like I do, look it up on YouTube.  She has ideas for scrapping anywhere from 1 to 12 photos on a layout.  In this case I used her June layout that incorporated 6 photos.

So let’s talk about the good, bad, and ugly.  I love using scraps.  Everything except the kraft background papers are scraps that I had in my stash.  I am going to count that as a win.  I also like the title.  That sweet kitty loved that the tree limbs bounced.  I am sure every year that the tree went up she thought, “it bounces!”  I am also pretty happy with that white lace sticker next to the snowman.  It’s pretty and makes me smile.

Onto the bad and ugly… Something isn’t quite right with the sraps I chose and how they work with the photos.  I almost think that because they match the color of the photos, it is hard to distinguish between the blocks and the photos.  Your eye doesn’t move smoothly over the pictures from left to right.  A page should draw your eye to the photos, and that isn’t happening.

I really struggled with the embellishment.  To be fair, I always struggle with embellishment.  In this case, I had a lot of little blocks to figure out what to do with.  That really is a weakness.  To add to the challenge, my Christmas supplies are limited.  I pulled some old Basic Grey chipboard pieces and some Fancy Pants Saint Nick stickers (Hello 2011).   I added some stamping with embossing in 2 of the blocks, but gold on brown doesn’t show up well.

I gave it a shot, right?  That counts for something.  If you have any double page layout tips, I would love to hear them.  Until then, I am heading back to the world of single page layouts.