Using Old Supplies

Admit it.  You have purchased a scrapbooking supply that you thought was a great idea at the time, only to find out that you never use it.  Washi tape, brads, and papers with corner prints have all been my kryptonite.  All of those pale in comparison to this pack of Crate Paper frames that I bought back in 2012.  They were all the rage back when I purchased them.  I was all on board, until they arrived and I tried to actually use them.  I finally gave up, and put them under a pile of supplies that I would “get to someday.”

A fellow scrapbooker put out a challenge to put together page kits.  One of my goals is to include those hard to use items in my kits.  That way, at least some of them will make it onto a page.  So for one of my page kits, I tossed in the entire pack of chipboard frames.  I was DETERMINED to use them.  For this kit, I also included some very old chipboard shapes and cork hearts.  (I honestly love those hearts.  I just don’t tend to reach for them very often.)

The papers came together quite quickly.  I pulled an old lime green tone-on-tone print for the background.  Then I added that lovely teal vine paper on top.  It’s so pretty!  I also added a bit of blue from a paper pad, then used a border punch on it.  The blue paper is also an attempt to use up some of those thin papers I purchased very early on in my scrapbooking adventure.  I much prefer the heavier cardstock weight papers for my projects.

Fave

Once the papers were placed, then the fiddling began.  I’m not talking about the good kind of fiddling that you can tap your toe to.  No, I’m talking about placing, moving, and placing items again.  At first, I was going for a diagonal design.  I simply could not get it to work.  Finally, I realized I could group them in more of a horizontal design.  It still took quite a bit of finessing before I was happy.

After I got the frames where I wanted them, I needed to choose the paper scraps to fill them.  This then began the game of “move the frame without bumping any of the others out of place.”  This is not a fun game.  I did make sure to take a photo of the frame placement before I began gluing papers.  Still, it’s difficult to keep everything exactly in place.  Admittedly, I did end up adjusting them a bit more before everything was attached to the background.

For once I actually enjoyed embellishing a layout!  I am as surprised as you are!  The frames took up so much space and added quite a bit of dimension.  Each little space invited its own little decorating space.  The best part?  Those old chipboard pieces finally came out of my stash after sitting for years.  I also included a couple of die-cuts and mixed in cork and wood hearts.  It was so freeing to not work by the rule of threes or use a diagonal design.  Nope, just place here and there until I was happy.

Going out of my comfort zone took a little extra time, but it was totally worth it.  This is one of my favorite layouts that I’ve done in a long time.

Disney tip:  If you want some nice photos without any people in the background, get to the park early.  This photo was taken before park opening.  Though not all parts of the park are accessible, there are definitely some nice photo opportunities available.

And So it Begins

I know this doesn’t look like a Disney layout.  It doesn’t use any traditional Disney colors.  You don’t see any Disney icon embellishments.  There is absolutely nothing about Disney in the photo!  So how can this be a Disney layout?  This was the selfie (I forced upon my husband) that we took while waiting for the friendship boat to take us to EPCOT.  We were about to go to our first Disney park, and I wanted to record that excitement!  That’s about as excited as we get, people!

Love

With the photo being so dark, I wanted to work with a light background.  In this case, I just went with my favorite smooth American Crafts cardstock.  Then I began digging through my scrap bin.  I pulled out all of the blue and green scraps, then began mixing and matching them until I found a combination that I liked.  For the most part, I chose lighter shades.  I did want that navy star paper included to give it a little bit of weight towards the bottom.

I am a big fan of the stacked boxes design.  There’s no right or wrong way to do it.  I always try to make some sort of an “L” shape.  Really, I just stack and restack until it turns out the way I want it.  This is a great style for using up your scraps.  Whenever I get a number of large scraps that compliment each other, you can be sure I’m going to do a stacked box design.

Almost all of the embellishments are pretty old.  The only new piece is the “Let the Adventure begin!” die-cut.  The chipboard stars are some of my favorite embellishments ever.  I believe they are from Studio Calico.  I am nearly out of them.  They just seemed to be a perfect compliment to the star paper.  The chipboard “love” was sitting on my desk.  I believe I’ve had that for 10-15 years.  With the colors in the page, it just seemed to be a perfect fit.

I know it doesn’t look like a typical Disney layout.  That’s okay!  There are no rules about scrapbooking.  This was a special memory that I wanted to document.  The beginning of this particular adventure was magical.  The story was about us, and our happiness.  That’s what this photo captured.

Disney tip:

If you want a relaxing trip into either Epcot or Hollywood Studios, the friendship boats are amazing.  We enjoyed gliding along the water, taking in the scenery.  Crescent Lake is a great place to stay if you want easy access into 2 parks.  Both parks are within walking distance, but we loved the boats.

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.

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.

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.

Sketches Are My Favorite Things

IMG_1547

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.