Using 6×6 Paper

I have quite the collection of 6×6 paper pads.  In theory, I purchased them for card making.  In reality, they sit on a shelf mocking me because I rarely make cards.  At this point, I’ve put a buying freeze on all 6×6 pads until the space I have dedicated can fit more.  Spoiler alert:  That will take a year at least.

Luckily there is an expert in creating layouts using 6×6 pads.  Allison Davis has made some magnificent sketches that are designed to be used with 6×6 papers.  Though the sketch I used was created for a 2 page layout, I adjusted by using only one side of the sketch.  That meant I needed to change up the placement of the title and embellishments as well.

Velociraptor Encounter

My first step was choosing the papers I wanted to use.  As I examined the photos, I knew that I wanted to stick to blues and greens.  It really was a no brainer.  The photos have green backgrounds, while the people all have on blue.  (No, I didn’t plan our outfits.  I really don’t plan that well!)  When I reached for my 6×6 pads, I couldn’t find the papers I wanted in just one stack.  So I wound up using a couple of collections.

The design is a really simple one.  It’s a grid that’s just pushed to the side.  All of my other grid layouts are centered, so I liked this little twist on an old favorite.  Please note that even after buying a T-square ruler, I still didn’t get my blocks placed perfectly.  Sigh… someday I will get it right.

In the spirit of using supplies that are old and have been largely unloved, I started by sorting through my bits and bobs on my desk.  I keep a couple of containers of items that either never got put away or were the last few pieces from a pack.  Everything except for the enamel dots came from my containers of orphan items.  It felt so good to give these items a home.  And honestly, I love how they look!

One of my favorite parts of this layout, other than the photos, is the title work.  Originally, I was going to place the title on the white cardstock at the left side of the layout.  It seemed logical since there is more room over there.  I am so glad that I reconsidered and placed it around the corner.  For once my title looks like part of the design, rather than an afterthought!

Hopefully I can create a few more layouts that include 6×6 papers.  I will definitely be reaching for more Allison Davis sketches to help me reach my goals.

 

Scrapping With Supplies I Didn’t Buy

No, no, I didn’t steal them!  I happen to have some wonderful friends and family that give me a few supplies.  If you are an avid scrapbooker, you know the kinds of papers that you tend to gravitate towards.  The problem (okay, it’s so not a problem) with supplies you are given, is that they may not be your style.  If they aren’t your style, then it is likely that you will have trouble using them.

Sometimes, those papers that you generally wouldn’t reach for turn out to be exactly what you need.  In this case, I had some photos from Animal Kingdom’s Jambo House to scrap.  All of the brown and tan in the photos just didn’t scream aqua and pink to me.  I have a LOT of aqua and pink papers.  However, I was gifted a safari themed paper pad a while back that was absolutely perfect!  If you look closely at the prints, not only is there the spotted giraffe paper, but the tan/yellow paper is covered in giraffes!  The striped paper was also in that collection.  All I needed to add were 2 colors of green cardstock… one for the background, and one to mat the photos.

Giraffes

Since there were 6 photos, I needed to make a two page layout.  These are definitely not in my wheelhouse.  I did what I always do when I have no clue where to start… I went to Pinterest.  I found a sketch online that used the same number of photos and were the correct orientation.  Obviously I spend too much time on Pinterest!  The one I chose only included 2 paper strips that ended in banners.  Though I liked the banners, I knew I wanted that cute giraffe chipboard piece right where they were supposed to be.

Once I got my papers and photos placed, it was time to figure out how to embellish the page.  The sketch called for 2 wide banners up in the upper right hand corner.  I adjusted that to use the 3 papers from below.  I placed some chipboard pieces to decorate them, then added in brads on either side.  (Whenever I get a chance to use brads, I do.  I purchased quite a few when I began scrapbooking, but they are difficult for me to use.  Let’s be real… anything that once placed, can’t easily be moved, is not a good product for me.)  I knew I wanted to use that giraffe on the lower left.  It doesn’t match the feel of the papers, but I don’t care!  It was just too cute to leave off of the page.

There were two more places that needed some work.  The upper left hand corner needed a title.  The lower right was supposed to be a journaling spot.  I wasn’t quite sure about what to do in either of these spaces.  After looking through some old chipboard, I found that “Noted” piece.  I liked that it was neutral in color and helped fill up the space.  I also decided to use two alpha sets to add a little more interest.  Finally, I added the cute vine.  The lower right was a problem because I didn’t really have anything to journal… at least not enough to fill up the space.  It turns out, the backside of the striped paper was a cut-apart sheet.  I thought that the “safari adventure” was not only the correct size, but a great compliment to the wildlife photos.  I added a coordinating chipboard piece that allowed for my brief journaling, along with a couple of other small embellishments.

Overall, it’s a pretty clean layout.  It won’t win any creativity awards.  However, it’s precisely what I wanted for a page about our tall spotted friends.  I love that I was able to finally use some of those wonderful papers that were given to me.  I think this layout does them justice.

The Castle

Hey, remember how I said I was trying to use my Disney themed papers and embellishments?  Well, that flew out the window as soon as I went to scrap this photo.  Do you see those beautiful blue and purple tones?  They were screaming out for papers that could live up to their elegance.

I recently received the purple, blue, and teal geometric paper from the Bloom Street collection.  (I’m kicking myself for not ordering that collection.  It’s incredible.  And yes, I am aware that I keep posting that I am not a collection scrapbooker.  The paper… it calls to me!)  I thought the colors were a great match to the castle.  So I went through the remainder of my purple papers and pulled out that purple/pink background paper as well as the dark purple that I border punched.  I liked the contrast while staying within the same color family.

Lovely

For the design, I took inspiration from a layout by Mandy Melville that I found on Pinterest.  She has a blog that you can find here.  I really like how it shows off both the photo, and the paper.  The design is super simple, without looking plain.  I did find that I had to mat the photo in order to give it more weight and have it stand out from the paper.

The embellishing went rather quickly for once!  I chose to go with some new die cut florals.  Most are from Shimelle’s Never Grow Up collection.  They were rather large, which worked well for this layout.  I did do a bit of layering, so there are multiple floral or leaf pieces in each cluster.  Some are popped up with foam squares to give a bit more dimension.  I also added in some silver foam hearts and leaves to go with the silver title.

This is one of my favorite layouts in my Disney album.  Sometimes you just need an exquisite photo and a simple design.

Using Disney Themed Collections

Before we left on our Disney trip, I purchased a ton (okay, 3 or 4) paper collections that were Disney themed.  I thought for sure that this would make scrapbooking our vacation so much easier!  The supplies would be ready, and the pages would flow since the color scheme would be consistent.

What could go wrong?  I forgot to take two things into account when making these plans.  First, I didn’t think about the colors in the photos not matching with the colors in the collections.  Let’s face it… light blue, yellow, red, and black just don’t go well with purple and pink photos.  The other element I forgot about was the scrapbooker… me!  If you have followed me for a while, you know I am not a collection scrapbooker.  How could I possibly think I could stick within multiple collections with the same basic designs?

Now that I am about halfway through scrapping our vacation photos, I realize that I have hardly touched the collections I purchased.  When you’ve done 30 layouts and only about 3 use papers from the Disney themed collections, well, it’s not good.  I’m only using the supplies I bought for this album about 10 percent of the time.  (I’m a math teacher.  The percentage is important to me!)

So what do I do?  I am making a concerted effort to pull those Disney collections.  Today’s layout was the perfect opportunity to use up some Disney papers.  The colors of the tile in the Morocco pavilion, along with my husband’s shirt (wasn’t it nice that he matched the background so well?), went along perfectly with the color scheme in the collections I had.  In this case I pulled the yellow chevron for the background as well as the red polka dot paper.  I wanted to use a darker blue than what was in the collection, so I used that lovely navy tone-on-tone scrap.  I also decided to use a pale cream piece of cardstock, so that the yellow paper created a frame and kept this layout from becoming too busy.

Explore

I love the overall design of this page.  I started with a sketch by Jennifer Shaw, simplifying it a bit.  She included some circle elements that I omitted because… um… I am a lazy scrapper.  Though I love the added interest circles provide, I didn’t want to deal with cutting and placing them.  She had a filmstrip piece as well, but only included a bit on the right side.  I decided to place it all of the way across.  (Let me tell you, I was doing a happy dance when I was able to use that film cut apart strip.  I have SUCH a hard time using cut aparts in collections.)

The embellishments for this page except for the “explore” are completely from the Disney themed collections.  I am super happy with how the embellishment cluster at the top right turned out.  I stacked a couple of 2×2 cut aparts to make it look like I had paper strips.  Then I added a couple of die cuts, a piece of chipboard, and some yellow enamel dots.  It’s nothing fancy.  It just looks balanced.  I think keeping the materials pretty narrow on this page helped me create something that I love.  Maybe I should limit my supplies more often!

I am not including any Disney tips for now, as the world is currently in a state of flux.  Advice that I have from our trip won’t reflect the current reality.  For now, I will just keep scrapping.

Simplicity

I am currently on a simple scrapbooking kick.  My layouts are almost never too complicated.  I just don’t have the time or patience to work on anything overly elaborate.  Let’s be real, I DO pin elaborate designs thinking that some day I will do one.  That day just never arrives!  Right now my focus is to get my large backlog of photos scrapped and into their appropriate books.

This layout is an extraordinarily simple grid design.  There are no fancy techniques or flashy new products on this page.  The embellishments are minimal, even for me.  In part, because of the design, I didn’t have a lot of room to add a lot of embellishments.  There could be more decoration down in the bottom left hand corner, but I also didn’t want to distract from the beautiful photos.

Sweet Serenity

I will be honest, this layout didn’t turn out like I had originally pictured.  My original vision had a background paper that was much more beachy with waves.  I scrapped (pun intended… Yes, I am a geek.) that idea, when it made the whole page look washed out.  That bottom square was originally slated to hold a banner and the title.  However, nothing I tried looked right.  So, I had to go with plan B there as well.

Since that square is so large, I had to find a large embellishment to fill the space.  I discovered that wood heart in my stash, and it was a perfect fit.  It was much too plain by itself.  I didn’t want to cover up that beautiful wood with paper or paint, so I decided on just placing a flower in the upper left hand corner.  Then I chose the butterfly, and another small wood veneer heart.  Since I am terrible at using those tiny word stickers, I pulled the “beach” sticker as well.  I finished off the embellishment on the page by mirroring the butterfly, wood veneer hearts, and word sticker in the upper right hand corner.

I know this page isn’t anything super eye catching.  It’s still a scrapbooking win.  I got 3 beautiful photographs scrapped.  I also got to use some older products.  Both the light blue photo mats and the background paper are from paper stacks.  I don’t often use those stacks because the paper is so thin.  The butterflies are also about a decade old.  My goal is to use up the supplies I purchased years ago.  By mixing them in with newer supplies, I will be able to save money.

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.