Difficult Papers

I tend to stay away from difficult papers.  What is a difficult paper?  It’s generally a lovely paper that has a beautiful printed cluster or icon printed in the corner.  When I first started scrapping, I was drawn to these beauties.  After several attempts at actually designing a layout with them, I learned to stop purchasing them… or so I thought.  The Mary Poppins paper used in my last layout and the Mickey paper in this layout would prove me wrong.  In my defense, today’s layout is the result of buying an entire collection.  Sure, I could have used the other side.  But when you have a gold embossed design, you want to use it.

When I first began planning out this page, I searched online to see how other people had used the background paper.  It was easy to see that they all had the same struggle I had.  Proudly displaying the Mickey head while keeping the rest balanced was an obstacle.  Some people partially obscured Mickey.  Some people had a very loose design without structure.  None of that worked for me.  So I decided to very purposely work around the Mickey.  I created a box of sorts around it!

Magic Kingdom At Night

I began by creating the blue and red strips of paper down the left hand side.  I considered making that a banner in the original design.  It was just too complicated when dealing with 2 papers.  (Sometimes you just have to take the easier path.)  I knew I wanted the photo up in the corner opposite of Mickey to help create balance.  I paired that with one of the cut-aparts to go across the top.  The photo blended in too much with the black paper, so I found the yellow diagonal striped paper to use as a mat behind the photo and cut-apart.  I wasn’t sure about the yellow with the gold, but sometimes you need to just go for it!  Turns out, I love it!

As I often do, I created 3ish areas of embellishment.  I say 3ish because one embellishment cluster turned into part of the title.  I chose that chipboard piece that says “Magic” to place in the cluster below the photo.  I worked on the clusters, making sure each one used a piece with those diamonds, stars, and hearts.  I also made sure to add an additional heart into each cluster.  Then I just used bits and pieces to fill in.  The banner in the bottom right hand cluster is really the bottom of the tag that I used in the upper left hand cluster.  I also cut the viewfinder piece in half that fits beneath the photo.  It’s an easy way to stretch my supplies.

Once I had my embellishments in place, I began working on a title. After a bit I settled upon the oh so not original “Magic Kingdom.”  And then I realized that the “Magic” was already there!  I just needed to add in Kingdom.  I wanted to fill the empty space of the light blue paper, so I chose a larger font.  The downside is that it didn’t fit within the horizontal space.  Still, that super styled “k” was begging to be used.  I decided to split the word and use a tilde as my hyphen.  There was still too much room left below the title.  I also wanted to bring more yellow into the layout.  So I found those yellow scripty puffy alphabet stickers, and knew they were just perfect.  I added “At Night,” with a heart, and was done.

This is a layout that I very much love.  The photo was our last night at Disney World.  It was the end of a truly magical vacation.  With a lot of time and thought, I was able to use this paper that I found quite beautiful.  It’s the perfect balance of class and whimsy.  The difficult paper was completely worth the effort.

Perfect Paper

When I first saw this paper, I fell in love with it.  Mary Poppins floating over London just brought back childhood memories.  So I bought it.  It’s another one of the purchases I made before going to Disney World.  Though I didn’t have the photos to go with the paper, I knew I could meet Mary at EPCOT.  So, we headed to EPCOT… and I almost chickened out.  I felt silly standing in line without any children.  It took a gentle nudge from my husband to get me to stand in line by myself.  I love that man!

Spit Spot

The title of this layout comes from the first words she said to me, “Spit spot!”  I was a little slow walking up to her.  Yes, I was chided by Mary Poppins, and I will never forget it.  This lady is no nonsense!  It was the perfect place to begin this layout.

Though the paper was beautiful, it was a challenge to figure out how to use it.  I didn’t want to cover Mary or the London rooftops.  Still, I wanted to fit 2 photos on the page.  I decided I could do it with this “L” shaped layout.  I could place the photos on the right hand side without covering any of the major icons.  Then I could use the space below Mary’s feet for the title and journaling.  I had to add another paper because the title wouldn’t have shown up well on the newsprint background.  Since this layout has a vintage look to it, I chose that awesome hidden Mickey paper.

Decorating this page didn’t take a lot because there wasn’t much room left.  I added a journaling card.  I do wish that I found something other than stark white for this page.  It doesn’t fit in with the aged look of the rest of the page.  I used an old rub-on from Bo Bunny that is around a decade old.  It went on like butter!  I added the “Quite a Character” stamp from a set an online friend made.  Then I used the dark red gem swag at the bottom.  I picked three spots to create a visual triangle to place some butterflies and word strips.  Can I tell you that I was thrilled to use word strips?  I never know what to do with them.  The final detail was the small “sweet” tab and a small heart.

I am super happy with the overall look of this page.  I may find a way to go back and age that white paper a bit.  That might be a challenge at this point.  Maybe I will just put it into my scrapbook and keep moving forward.  I am not Mary Poppins.  I am not practically perfect… just practical.

 

Coordinating Pages

Usually I scrap 1 page layouts that don’t match the facing page.  After finishing my layout with Alice, I realized that I had a photo of the tea cups.  Since they are on the same theme, I decided to scrap this photo next.  I used the scraps from the previous layout, as well as a bit more from the Echo Park Alice in Wonderland collection.  (So happy I bought those papers!)

The biggest challenge I have with the Alice papers is the busy print.  I love them, but they are difficult to use in conjunction with each other.  Yes, I could use just one print on a page… I just wasn’t willing to do so.  I really love that butterfly print paper, so I knew I wanted to use it.  Since this was my last Alice themed page, I wanted to use the Alice paper as well.

In this case, I decided to show enough of the butterfly paper to make the pattern recognizable without it becoming overwhelming.  I also separated the two patterns with a subtle pink tone on tone paper from the collection. In order to cover enough of the butterfly print to keep it from being too much, I had to create a pretty large journal block.  It would have been best to go with the pink of the photo mat.  Sadly, that paper was textured, making it difficult for writing.  Instead I went with white and inked the edge in pink.

Tea Cups

Once it was time for decorating, I again turned to some Alice in Wonderland diecuts. I pulled one for the top of the photo and one for the bottom.  I also used buttons again so that it would provide symmetry with the Alice page.  This time I included some yellow buttons in order to bring a little yellow into that lower right hand corner.  I also chose a wood veneer teacup and arrow that I inked pink.  Then I added a few stickers and a brad to finish it off.

I can’t wait to put the two layouts side by side in my album.  They won’t form a 2 page layout.  The base pages are different colors.  Still, the papers are largely the same, and the buttons will tie the two together.  They will simply live in harmony.

Disney tip:  If you are doing an adult Disney trip, take the time to enjoy the parks at night.  The lighting makes the atmosphere that more magical.  I wish I had stopped and taken more nighttime photographs.

Planning Ahead

When it comes to scrapbooking, I am not a planner.  I don’t plan out an album with a coordinating color scheme.  I buy supplies willy-nilly.  Then when I scrap, I hope I have what I need.  My pages are generally a mishmash of papers from different companies, because I don’t even scrap by collection.  Buying whatever I like and then hoping for the best is just the way I roll.

Which brings me to my next layout.  For once in my life, I planned ahead.  Knowing that I had a trip to Walt Disney World coming up, I purchased a few pieces of paper from the Echo Park Alice in Wonderland collection.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I would have a photo to match the paper.  I was taking a chance.  Our first morning at EPCOT, I made a beeline for the queue for Alice.  Yes, I got a photo so that I could use the paper!  Scrapbookers are crazy.  (But it’s such a cute photo!  Totally worth it!)

Alice

For this layout, I used inspiration from a page by Julie Wells.  You can find it here.  Her version is so crisp, clean, and beautiful.  I found the diagonal design intriguing.  It’s different than what I would normally do.  I combined that with my style of making a small messy stack of papers beneath the photo.  Mine is also missing the delicate little details that Julie included.  You all know I am NOT an embellisher.

In this case, I knew I wanted to use that “Alice in Wonderland” diecut.  I would have used more from that pack, but the tags were all so busy.  I definitely have enough pattern on this page.  So instead I pulled some simple older diecuts that I had in my stash.  It was still missing something.  Finally, I grabbed my container of buttons and used a mix of sizes to make a border beneath the photo.  I played with including some enamel dots, but again, it was just too much.

I am so happy that I planned ahead for once!  When I went to scrap this photo, I knew exactly which papers I was going to use.  It helped streamline the process for me.  Will I plan ahead in the future?  Maybe for a trip, but otherwise no.  I’m just never going to be that organized!

Disney tip: Take the time to explore the countries at EPCOT.  Not only are they beautiful, it’s a place to meet characters with shorter waits.  I was able to meet Alice and Mary Poppins with very little wait time.  Mulan and Belle can also be found around the world.

Super Simple

My scrapbooking style is pretty simple.  You won’t see a lot of tedious work for most of my layouts.  My embellishment clusters generally only have three pieces to them.  It seems like the more I scrap, the less intricate my layouts become.  I just don’t have the time or creativity to make something more complicated.

Today’s layout takes the idea of simplicity to the extreme. I have three incredible photos of my husband and I with Kylo Ren.  If you look at the bottom two photos, you will see me smarting off, and my husband laughing.  Kylo Ren told him to get control of me.  I informed Ben that my husband hasn’t been able to do that in over a decade.  It was a delightful moment that I will always cherish.

When I began choosing papers for this layout, I immediately knew I wanted black and red.  Not only does it match the background, but it just feels intimidating.  I loved that black background paper.  Then I added the simple tone on tone red paper to mat the photos.  When I placed the photos on the red paper, there was something not quite right.  It was just missing something.  It needed another color that would pop a bit. I decided a bit of blue would work well and bring out the planet in the background.

Kylo Ren Awesome

Once I got to the photos and papers glued down, I was a bit stuck. I found the “Awesome” card, and knew I wanted to use it.  Then I tried many different additional journal cards in order to document this particular story.  No matter what I tried, I just could not make it work.  I finally decided that the story could be told on the back of the layout.  In the end, I ended up putting the small embellishments on a diagonal across the page.  A sprinkle of silver stars, some hearts, and a couple of other small pieces finished the page off rather quickly.

Is it a page that will win awards?  No.  Will I still enjoy it in my scrapbook?  Absolutely!

Disney tip:  Being ready to interact with the characters just makes for a better experience… and better photos.  You can tell which photos I was awkward in, and which photos that I went with the flow and had fun.  Have something to say, even to those characters that can’t talk.  I promise, it’s worth the effort.

What a Bunch of Monsters

Why yes, I am still scrapping my Disney vacation.  When will I be done?  I’m honestly hoping to get done before the next decade.  I make no promises.  This is what happens when you only go on vacation every 15ish years.  You take far too many photos.

This is one of my favorite layouts so far.  It isn’t super creative.  I think it has more to do with the subject matter.  Monsters Inc. is a special movie for my husband and I.  He is my Sully.  So meeting Mike and Sully was super important to me.  (We won’t talk about how it was hot in line and my own personal Sully had a bit of a short temper because of the heat.)  Instead, we’ll concentrate on the super cute pictures.  Look at how Sully completely engulfs me!

What a bunch of Monsters

The other reason I love this layout so much is the color scheme.  Teal, purple, and lime green are just beautiful together.  Obviously, the characters themselves were my inspiration.  I knew that I wanted the focus to be the teal and purple of Sully.  Then I went for a brighter pop with the lime green from Mike.  I purposely chose to go with a lighter brighter shade of green.

If you are like me, you struggle with having a horizontal and vertical photo on a page.  Normally I would line up the bottom of the photos and put the title above the horizontal picture.  This time I decided to shake it up and offset the photos.  The title was placed at the bottom.  I’m honestly not sure about the white (well, teal in this case) space above the landscape photo.  It’s a little larger than I would like.  I tried putting something small, like a boarder on it, but then that was too much.

The best part of the page is the stitched semi-circle.  I really do love hand stitching on a page.  It just takes extra time and patience that I don’t always have.  It was fun to decorate with a variety of older embellishments that I’ve had for years.  Each piece is from a different collection, and yet, they work beautifully together.  I’m so happy with the final result.

Monsters cluster

Disney tip:  Character lines can get long.  If you have little ones, you may want to start your fast passes an hour or two after the park opens and get in line for characters at the beginning of the day.  You will miss out on shorter ride lines, but it might be a good trade off if you have a super fan.  Make sure to check times when you arrive at the park, as some characters may not be meeting at park opening.

 

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.

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.