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.


Scrapping Without Thinking

Let me preface this post by saying that I really do like this layout.  I used a great sketch by Jenny Evans that I found on Pinterest.  I couldn’t get access to the original post, however you can find the sketch here.  It’s 7 years old, but a good sketch is a good sketch!  I kept things super simple, but you could totally jazz it up and use a lot more embellishments.

It wasn’t until after I photographed the layout that I realized where I had gone wrong.  You see, I did what I always do.  I looked at the photo and chose my papers to match the colors in the photo.  Navy for the bus, green for the grass, light blue for the sky, yellow for the yellow stripe in the lower right hand corner seems logical, right?  BUT THIS IS A LAYOUT ABOUT THE NIGHT BUS!!!  *sigh*  I obviously was not thinking about the context of the photo.  Is there such a thing as autopilot scrapping?  Clearly lime green does not scream mysterious talking shrunken head Harry Potter bus.  *headdesk*

The Night Bus

So what would I have changed?  Obviously the color scheme for starters.  It would have made sense to do this in black, purple, and maroon.  I could have added in orange for a contrast, or even lime green in just bits.  I think I would have changed the “&” card to be my journaling block.  Also, though I would keep the stars, I would have probably figured out a way to make them silver.  Perhaps embossing powder would do the trick.  It would have also lent itself to more Halloween themed embellishments.

Will I tear this page apart and redo it?  Absolutely not.  I don’t have time to pull things apart again, even when I don’t like the layout.   In this case, I like it, I just wish I had been more thoughtful in my process.  So why did I go through all of the trouble of writing a blog post about it?  Because I believe that I will only get better when I reflect on things.  (It’s something I try to do in other parts of my life as well.)  Now I will slow down when picking out my papers and decide if they match the content of the photo, not just the colors in the photo.

Universal Tip:  Do take the time to visit the Night Bus before you enter the World of Harry Potter.  The character interaction here is great.  Yes, the shrunken head does talk!  If there isn’t a line, the driver and head will chat up a storm.  Be aware that someone in your party will have to take the picture.  My husband volunteered since he hates to be in photos anyway!

The Boardwalk

Since this was our first visit to Disney World, I wanted to document our hotel rooms and experience.  Our first stop was the Boardwalk Inn.  This was my husband’s pick.  (I could write an entire post on trying to choose a hotel!  It isn’t easy!)  As much as it pains me to say it, I fell in love with it immediately.  I can’t even explain why.  The decor isn’t my style at all.  Antiques and dark wood just aren’t my thing.  Yet, it felt like home.

I made sure to take photos before we got the room all messy.  Since this was our travel day, it was getting pretty late when we walked through the door.  The photos are dark, but I assure you that things would have been in disarray if I waited until morning.  And check out the cute washcloth and towel Mickey they left us.  It was just that little extra bit of magic that made our stay special.


The yellow striped wallpaper in the room helped me decide on my color choices for this page.  Knowing that I was going to use yellow, I was drawn to the dusty blue background paper.  I just felt like the room colors were more subdued, so the page should reflect that.  Not wanting the page to look too dreary, I did pull that yellow and white geometric print to use behind the photos.  I needed something for the dark photos to contrast with as well, so it seemed like a good choice.  Then I went through my scraps and found that large dot paper and the yellow/gold geometric paper.

Once the papers and photos were in place, it was time to find some embellishments.  The journaling card was my first discovery.  I knew I needed something to write on that would help fill up the space above the horizontal photo.  (Scrapping a vertical and horizontal photo on the same page always leave me with this problem!)  Then I chose the butterfly to help, but it looked weird sitting beside the journaling card.  Once I raised it up, it looked better.  And… that still left an awkward space.  I finally decided on the envelope there, though I can’t say that I’m entirely satisfied.  Nothing is perfect.  The circle additions at the top and bottom help take out some of the boxy feel of the page.  I also added some gems because somehow they just feel more vintage than enamel dots.

The sketch I used showed a banner used at both the top and bottom.  You can find the sketch here: Sketch.  (Though I found it on a store website, it’s a Susan Stringfellow sketch that can be found on her Sketch Savvy blog.  It seems like now I’m just accidentally using all of her sketches.)  I couldn’t seem to find the right papers to make it work, so I switched some things up a bit.  At the top, I used the blue scalloped border sticker and added two cute tiny brads.  At the bottom, I used the brown and blue star garland.

Though this page isn’t flashy, I like that it mirrors the room… vintage, subdued, and with a few dashes of magic here and there.

Which brings me to this post’s Disney tip:  hotel rooms.  There are over 20 Disney resorts to choose from if you want to stay on WDW property.  Make sure the room reflects your needs.  The Boardwalk Inn was great for us, because it had easy boat access to 2 of the parks.  We also sprung for a deluxe hotel because we knew we’d be spending a fair bit of time in the room.  A younger family may want something closer to Magic Kingdom or less expensive if they are going to spend most of the time in the parks.  For us, transportation and the view were priorities.  Do your research before booking!

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



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!