Too Much Time and Too Many Scraps

Before all of this pandemic madness hit, I got sick.  For 2 weeks I have been cooped up at home doing nothing.  As soon as I got better, schools were closed.  So here I am, with far more time than I am used to having.  My first thought was to scrap.  (It should have been cleaning the house, but scrapping is just so much more appealing.)

As I have been cleaning up my scraproom a bit, I discovered that my scraps have once again gotten out of control.  That means one thing.  It’s time to make some cards.  I’m not a creative card maker.  I put some matching strips of paper together and then see what matching embellishments I can throw on them.  So my first job was separating out the scraps into piles of papers that would work together.  From there, I grab a pile and start creating.

Butterfly Thankful

For my first card, I chose that flower strip.  It’s from an October Afternoon collection called Woodland Park.  Oh, how I loved that collection.  I paired it with a scrap of berry colored cardstock.  At first I tried layering a few more paper strips, but it just didn’t look right.  Deciding simplicity was best, I chose some twine to frame the floral paper strip.  Next, I pulled out that pink flower for the bottom corner.  That made the card look a bit unbalanced.  What goes better with a flower than a butterfly?  I just happen to have quite a few of those kraft butterflies in my stash.  Then I did some digging and  found the “So Thankful” sticker in my stash.  I added a tiny brad to fancy it up a bit.

The next two cards follow similar patterns.  A few strips of paper with some twine used as an embellishment to hide where the paper comes together.  Then I find a matching embellishment.  The flower is a die-cut piece that’s been sitting in a bag for years.  The bee is a chipboard piece that I’ve had for over a decade!  Then I place the sentiment either on a sticker, or a banner that I’ve cut out.  If someone could help me with sentiments, that would be great.  It’s always the part I struggle with when card making.

The next two cards took a bit more effort on my part.  Instead of placing a pre-made embellishment, I got out my stamps.  On the left, I was trying my hand at my new alcohol markers.  I definitely have some learning to do.  My blending isn’t great.  I also had very few markers, so I didn’t have the range of colors I would have liked to have.  On the right, I was trying out my watercolor pencils.  Obviously, I am no artist.  Still, coloring is something I can certainly work to improve.

Now I have five new cards, and a few less scraps.  I was hoping it would make a noticeable dent in my scrap collection.  Sadly, it didn’t.  It looks like it’s time to put together a few layouts made completely out of scraps.  On the upside, if my scraps are getting out of control, it must mean I am cutting into paper!

Primary Colors

I was in kindergarten when I learned about primary colors.  They were red, yellow, and blue.  Mix them together, and you can create new colors.  It was like magic!  Hey, I was five.  It was pretty impressive to a five year old.  When I began picking out the papers to go with the underwater photos, I wasn’t thinking about primary colors.  I just don’t think like an artist.  (My college art teacher would not be surprised.)  I honestly just pulled some papers to see what looked good together.

My thought process for picking papers honestly began with the light blue background.  The sea turtle in the top photo appears to be a beautiful light blue.  I was trying to match that.  The yellow paper came next.  I loved the look of the bright yellow against the baby blue.  At this point, you would think I jumped straight to red to complete the primary trilogy.  Nope!  I pulled out a bunch of papers, many of them in different shades of green, until finally settling on the red.  Later, I pulled that strip of striped paper that pulled all of the colors together.  Wouldn’t it have been nice if I had just started there?

I have to admit that I cheated a bit for this layout.  I had pinned a beautiful layout that you can find here.  In this case, you will see that I wound up with something fairly close to the original.  (Her page is amazing! Go check it out!)  Even the overall color scheme and letter style ended up the same.  This was totally NOT intentional.  I think that sometimes when we see a page, we just unconsciously copy the elements.  Usually when I am using a layout as inspiration, I completely change the colors as well as other elements.  My color choices were totally based upon the photo.  The title letters were a result of not finding any light blue letters in my stash that worked.  (I am finding that I am always missing a letter that I need.  So frustrating!)  I had this multi-colored set that I have only used once before.  The colors matched my layout, and it had all of the letters that I needed.

Sea Base

My favorite part of this layout is how simple the embellishment is.  I used a couple of circle dies to cut some yellow and black scraps.  Then I pulled some die cuts, a couple of brads, and a puffy sticker.  How easy is that?  Only having 2 small embellishment clusters definitely sped up my scapping time on this page.

The one thing I am not happy about is the journal block.  I wish I had picked something that was a bit longer.  Right now I feel like it just sticks out there.  Since the embellishment cluster doesn’t overlap it, the block doesn’t feel grounded.  Someday I will create that perfect layout!

Disney tip:  Extra Magic Hours can be a great time to experience lower crowds.  Though parks with Extra Magic Hours often become more crowded than other parks, we found that mixing Extra Magic Hours with park hopper tickets helped us avoid huge crowds.  On the night we went to Sea Base, EPCOT was open 2 hours later for Disney resort guests.  We had Sea Base almost all to ourselves.

Trying Two Pages Again

I have talked before about how I don’t do two page layouts.  I don’t have any talent when it comes to anything bigger (or smaller) than a 12×12 page.  So why try again?  Well, when you have hundreds of photos to scrap, it can be a bit more efficient to work on a larger scale.  Yes, I could scrap 5 photos on two separate pages.  The photos of the architecture at EPCOT felt like they needed to go together.  Two page layouts also tend to make the paper placement pretty easy.

In this case, I only needed to choose 2 papers.  I wanted to play off of the green and maroon tones of the Chinese pavilion.  Normally I would pour over all of my paper, looking for something that was just right.  I got lucky with this layout.  I had just recently received a new paper order that I hadn’t put away yet.  As soon as I saw the 1canoe2 paper from my order, I knew it was the perfect choice.  The green, pink, and maroon from their Willow collection was just what I needed.

Around the World

I would like to say that I was able to throw this together fairly quickly.  That would be a lie.  I did use a Pin to inspire the layout.  (I tracked down the artist, and you can find her work here, though her blog is no longer active.)  The paper cutting and gluing was a snap.  The photo placement was pretty fast as well.  Then the layout sat for a day.  Next I placed the washi top at the top and bottom to give it a bit more of a finished look.  (Though I am not a washi fan, I do like the ultra thin rolls.)  I also cut out the journal piece from another Willow paper, and wrote out my journaling.  Again, I was flummoxed, so I stopped once again.  The following day I placed the title and the gold triangles.  People, it took an entire week to finish picking out the embellishments and gluing them down!  Yes, I am aware it’s only a few chipboard hearts from various collections and some gold doilies.  I honestly wish I could just pick out photos and papers, glue everything down, and then hand it to someone else to embellish!

Though it was a pain to put together, I like the end result.  It’s the first two page layout that I think was a success.  If I am honest, the thing that I like the most about it is the paper.  I really do find this collection quite beautiful.  The color palette is gorgeous.  I absolutely fell in love with that floral.  Though I buy many floral papers, I almost never use them.  This one needed to be on a layout immediately.

Disney tip:  As an adult, I very much enjoyed traveling around the world at EPCOT.  Be aware, that most countries aren’t accessible until 11:00.  You can get breakfast at the bakeries in France and Norway before 11:00.  You can also ride Frozen Ever After in Norway.  However, you won’t be able to explore any further.  My photo of the gate in China is all I got to see of the China pavilion.  Sadly, we were there before 11:00, and never made it back.

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*

Magic

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!

 

Kevin!

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.

Kevin!

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!