Back to Disney (I Wish)

Oh how I wish I could go back to Disney.  Living in that perfect little bubble is quite addicting.  For now I will have to do the next best thing, scrapbook the memories.  Today’s post takes me all of the way back to arrival day.  We came in late, checked into our hotel, and headed to EPCOT.  Lucky for us, EPCOT had extra hours and wasn’t closing until 11:00.  We grabbed some food and began to explore in the dark. That place is REALLY dark at night. Not so great for newbie navigating, but excellent for photos.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is so beautiful lit up at night.  The photo on the left is from across the lake.  I simply adore the shadows of the palm trees cast against the side.  The photo on the right is from a little trail where you can see the monorail track in the foreground.  There’s nothing like seeing that view while walking along the water.  That purple glow is just iconic.

There was no way to avoid using a purple or lavender palette on this page.  Okay… I could have tried something else, but I wanted to honor the photos.  Like I often do, I used some aqua as well.  I just love those colors together.  I do wish that I had chosen a different background paper.  I feel like there isn’t enough contrast between that and the title.  I tried to make it work by placing the lavender “earth” on the strips rather than the background.  However, I think the the aqua “spaceship” somehow melts into the lavender background too!

Since I have so much trouble with layouts that feature both landscape and portrait photos, I searched my pins for some inspiration.  I found this layout by Susan Stringfellow.  (I am a serious fangirl.)  I chose to use flowers as embellishments like Susan did.  Really I have so few embellishments in lavender and aqua, I needed to make some myself.  I used Tim Holtz’s tattered florals dies to make the lavender flowers.  By luck, the white and aqua flowers showed up in an order that arrived while I was scrapping this layout.  I also stamped, embossed, and then fussy-cut the butterfly.  Sometimes you just have to create what you need.

Disney tip:  If you are arriving late to Disney property, you may want to relax and enjoy your evening at your resort.  We jumped right in, but in hindsight, it would have been nice just to wander around the boardwalk.  We could have gotten dinner and watched the fireworks without ever going into the parks.

Scrapping With Collections

I have a problem.  I buy paper collections.  Okay, so that doesn’t really sound like a problem.  It’s just that I don’t USE collections.  Even the Disney collections that I purchased for our trip are rarely used as I scrap Disney layouts.  I think I like the idea of a collection, but prefer to pull individual papers from various companies to scrap a page.  There have been some exceptions to the rule.  Once in a blue moon, a collection comes along and just calls to me.  There are 3 collections that I love so much, that I’ve used just about every tiny little piece of them.  Fancy Pants’ “What a Wonderful Day,” Echo Park’s “Everyday Eclectic,” and Echo Park’s “We are Family” inspire me.

I pulled the few papers I had left from “We are Family” in order to make this layout.  I am down to literally pulling scraps.  See that green piece and the blue polka dot paper?  Yeah, that’s all I had left of those.  I love how Echo Park made their papers work together.  Yes, that is the point of a collection.  However, too often, collections have papers that actually DO NOT go together.  I was able to pull my last few scraps, and they magically coordinated without any work from me.Sweet Times

I chose to finish off the collection because I felt they matched my photos so well.  The flower paper works with the floral pillows.  The blues and teals match the decor and the clothing of my family.  (No, I didn’t make them wear clothes to match my paper.  There are some people that do that!)  I also chose this collection because it brings me joy.  The people I love should be documented using products that make me happy.

The layout is a pretty typical style for me.  It’s really just strips of papers going up the page.  I cut the floral paper down so it wasn’t as wide.  Then two matted 4 x 6 photos were placed on top.  I added a journaling card to the side.  My embellishments travel down in a diagonal in order to draw the eye to the photos.  I did use some stickers from the collection, but then added die cuts and chipboard pieces from others.  It’s nothing super fancy.  Still, look how eye-catching it is.  That’s the sign of a good collection.

A Slightly Better Grid

No, my grid skills haven’t improved any.  I just wanted to show you how to better hide the imperfections.  This layout is actually a couple of years old.  It uses my super special eyeballing technique as well.  Yes, I know I should have improved over time.  Let’s just say that it is a good thing I didn’t decide to build houses for a living.

So, why does this grid layout look better?  First of all, I altered the squares.  I rounded the opposite corners.  The curve helps trick the eye so that it isn’t looking for those rigid straight lines any more.  The squares are also smaller, so any imperfections are smaller as well.  One other difference is that the squares aren’t spaced exactly the same distance apart.  If you look down the middle, that gap is larger than the others.  It was done purposefully.  By using varied spacing, flaws are more easily overlooked.  Some squares are also doubled, which draws the eye to the added dimension, rather than the lines.  (That bit doesn’t really show up in the photograph.)

New Year's Resolutions

I actually love this layout.  It was way out of my comfort zone at the time I made it.  I only used supplies that were on my desk.  It was so fun to use random scraps that I might otherwise not put together.  The embellishments are a bit all over the map, though I tried to stick with hearts and stars.  The luggage and the coffee pieces are related to my resolutions.  So they fit the theme of the page.  The craziness of this page truly represents all of the things going on in my head.  It’s me!

I will get back to Disney layouts soon.  It was just time for a change of pace.  It can’t all be about the mouse!

 

Imperfect Grid

I know this confession will shock y’all.  I eyeball everything.  Cuts are measured fairly accurately.  We won’t talk about how neither of my paper trimmers seem to be able to cut in a straight line.  When it comes to actually placing my papers down, yeah, I eyeball it… which works most of the time.  When does it backfire?  Those VERY rare times that I try to make a geometric or grid type of layout.

I did put a little extra effort into this one.  I used a straightedge and everything.  Still, you can clearly see where some squares aren’t quite right.  (Is it any wonder that it took me 10 years to hang up my pictures in my house?  I don’t even own a level!)  I really should have measured everything out perfectly and used more than one straight edge while I was laying it out.  *Sigh*

Ocean View

Is there anything else I would have done differently?  Yes.  I wish I had layered a slightly larger square below each of the squares you see.  Maybe a cream or light grey would have been nice.  They just need SOMETHING to make them stand out from the white background.  I would have also typed out the journaling.  I just don’t like how it looks in that square.

So, is there anything I like?  Absolutely!  I am honestly thrilled to get those chipboard banners used.  Another win was the use of the project life/journal card behind the photo.  You probably didn’t notice it.  It says, “Love These Little Things.”  It worked perfectly as a layer there.  I got it from a grab bag/box.  Since I don’t generally scrap with them, it was nice to get one out of my stash.  Overall, the “sprinkle embellishments here and there” is also just really freeing.  That part was effortless and fun.  And the best part?  I got rid of some of those pesky scraps that have been piling up on my desk.

Oh, and that ocean view?  That’s an incredible lookout point just south of Cannon Beach, Oregon.  If you ever visit, and you should, be prepared for a busy little town.  If you are heading to the beach, get there early.  There is minimal parking, and it fills up quickly.  We rented a house just out of town.  It was far enough away in the woods to feel completely secluded, while just minutes from the main drag of town.

 

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.