A Little Cotton Candy

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I have an allergy to dairy.  Honestly, it’s not that big of an issue when I am eating at home.  (Cashew milk is the best!)  Eating out can be tricky.  Dessert can be darn near impossible.  So when we went to Universal, I was looking forward to some cotton candy.  Now I knew the cotton candy was going to be a bit bigger than normal, but holy cow!  I had not imagined that it was half the size of an adult.

Luckily, my niece offered to help me out.  There was seriously no way I could begin to tackle that thing by myself.  I took a picture of her holding it, because I wanted to document the enormity of it all.  It’s bigger than her torso!

A little cotton candy

I actually really love this photo, even though it isn’t the best quality.  It has two of my absolute favorite things… my niece and heaps of sugar.  It also clearly shows some of the whimsy of Seuss Landing.  The bright colors do make this area a bit magical for me.  I grew up reading Seuss and admiring his imaginative illustrations.  For me, it was important to create a layout that did the photo justice.

Looking through my Pinterest boards, I stumbled upon sketch #153 by Susan Stringfellow.  If you haven’t seen her work, it is AMAZING!  I was able to trace it back to the Sketch Savvy blog.  Before writing this post, I didn’t know that blog existed.  Now I am obsessed with it!  I have admired her work for years.  You may see a ton of her sketches pop up here in the future.

My favorite part about this sketch is that I could use my scraps.  I keep ridiculously small scraps that any normal human being would throw out.  I was able to sort through those tiny bits of paper and match the colors to the ones in Seuss Landing.  (Hello branding strips that I kept just in case I ever found a use for them.)  I was also able to use up a few larger scraps to place behind the photo.  This is going to be one of my “go to” sketches when I’m feeling like eating up some scraps.

Once I had my strips cut, I placed them willy-nilly along the side and glued them down.  Next came the stitching which is far from perfect.  (Perhaps I shouldn’t have been making the holes while sitting in front of the television?)  There is no such thing as a straight line in the world of Seuss, right?  Then I needed a bit of embellishment.  I pulled a couple more scraps and used my Sizzix to cut the circle and heart.  Then I added in the chipboard stars.  (I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love chipboard stars.)  Lastly, I finished off with a few enamel dots and confetti hearts.  With all of the different patterns in the papers, I felt that was plenty of embellishment.

stacked heart

This is one of the few layouts that went together really quickly for me.  I didn’t have to languish over placement of anything since it’s supposed to be whimsical.  Everything is a bit off kilter, which suits my style and skill perfectly.  Even the little embellishments were placed with minimal fuss.  The end result is exactly what I wanted.

Travel tip (since I am trying to help out anyone visiting Orlando):

If you plan on going to both Universal and DisneyWorld, consider a split stay.  Since we were only visiting Universal 1 day, we didn’t stay at a Universal resort.  However, if we had planned on going 2 or more days, it would have been much better to have stayed in a Universal hotel.  Universal guests get into the parks an hour early to visit the World of Harry Potter.  They also get to use the express line for most rides.  If your family likes rides, this is definitely the way to go.

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