Friday, October 13, 2017

Northwest Adventure Part 1--Itinerary

Unlike kick-off pages, I don't often do itinerary pages, but for a complex trip like this, I did.

This actually covers the entire trip as I didn't realize I would need 2 albums. For each day I list the month and date as well as a basic idea of the events (cruise stops, major visits, etc.). For this page I chose to use stickers as bullet points and tried to find something that would be appropriate for the day. For example, on the day we cruised Glacier Bay I chose a small sticker that says "Park Entrance". The die cuts on the right side of the page help fill in the blank spots. I had to fussy cut the directional sign from a themed piece of paper.

The right hand page became a long journal box. This is one of the Fast to Fabulous pages and since it had the airplane and the trip to get to Alaska was a bit long, I decided to tell all about it. While on a trip I keep a journal of where we go and how long it takes us to get there. On this trip I forgot the usual journal but used my computer to keep a Word document with all the details. I recommend it if there will be a break between the trip and creating the scrapbook pages.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Kicking it....and myself

I completely neglected to get a post ready for last night and with a drive through horrible traffic to my niece's senior night, I just didn't get a chance to post until now. So, since I'm kicking myself let's talk kick-off pages!

I always do a kick-off page for every album, even my chronological albums. It serves 2 purposes--1) I don't have to come up with a reason for a one-page layout, and 2) It can help highlight the theme and bring the reader into focus. For my chronological albums it includes the years or months within the book so it also helps me file the albums. Let's look at a couple of examples:

Above is the kick-off page to my first album for the 2014 NPTC convention trip which was a cruise and then a land vacation in Seattle. I cut the letters with a Cricut and given what I've had to do to "manufacture" a letter when a sticker sheet ran low, I HIGHLY recommend getting one or at least getting access to one (or something similar, I like Cricut but I know there are many other machines out there).
The base to the page is a pre-designed page that came with a travel-themed album from Creative Memories. This album featured a cruise as I said, so the wavy tone to the paper seemed perfect to me, and the letters are in a slightly darker tone so they can be seen on the page. I think I may have made the letters a little too big as they are really crunched in the last line, but it works. A few stickers for the cruise and the wildlife finish the page. (Did I mention this was Alaska!?!).

The opening to volume 2 is above. There were so many pictures that this trip had to be divided to 2 albums which I didn't realize until I was halfway through the project. That's why this kick-off page says "Vol. 2" and the first one doesn't say "Vol. 1". The background here is a fast-to-fabulous page from Creative Memories. It is mostly travel stamps and since this was the transition from cruise to land (and clearing customs in Canada) it also works. Now I didn't have access to a Cricut when creating this page. The one I used in the first album is at a craft retreat house we go to periodically. So, I do own some paper letters in various colors and I felt I had the most letters in green.

By the time I got to "Adventure" I had to manufacture the "n" and "e" by putting other letters together (or turning a "3" upside down). I also was reduced to all lower case for the "vol.". Again, I think it worked fine and only takes a moment of notice from the reader.

I'm going to start jumping ahead chronologically beginning next week as I highlight the other photos from the cruise and Seattle vacation. These books were completed as a special project, not part of the chronological albums because of their number of pages, and I had a chance to photograph the album before most of my supplies were stored for a move! We may even highlight some non-NPS themed pages. Let me know in the comments below if that works for you!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Two Small Stops

In 2011 Eastern National produced the 25th anniversary stamps to commemorate the Passport Program. Since Jim was visiting his family I took the opportunity to make a day trip visiting Monocacy for the first time and revisiting Fort McHenry.

I debated cutting the photo in half and posting  each page separately, but there isn't much unique enough about either experience, and the visits were literally hours apart. In fact, I also visited Catoctin Mountain Park but didn't take any photos. You'll notice that there are just simple photos of each place--the sign without me near it and an establishing shot of the park. In some ways this is the epitome of a "stamp and run" layout.

The left page is another page from Forevermore Scrapbook's civil war papers--just a line of rifles across the bottom. Adding the drum and bugle to the title/unigrid area finishes the decoration. On the right I used 6x6 paper in flag colors as the base for the quintessential story of our flag. The red sticker is my admission proof (they change color every day). On my way home I mounted it on one of the passport pages so I could scrapbook it later. Journaling on that page is a silver/white pen on dark blue paper. I will say it's hard for me to find a suitable pen that writes in a fine tip and in a color light enough to see on dark cardstock. Do you have one to recommend? Comment below!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inside Gettysburg

For our anniversary in 2011 Jim and I planned a trip to Gettysburg. They had recently renovated the visitor center, park film, and the Cyclorama painting. We spent quite a bit of time indoors seeing everything there was, then went for lunch. After lunch we had planned on taking a Segway tour of the battlefield for something "new". We did get to practice on them indoors but just as it was time to start the tour a thunderstorm rolled in and it had to be cancelled.

This is a layout idea I obtained at a local scrapbook store. In fact, if you are in Gettysburg, check out Forevermore Scrapbook (click here). The paper was purchased there as well, and they have a good supply of various national park themed papers. The layout is one piece of 12x12 paper which is cut at 6". Each half is then mounted on the middle of the page with the remaining mementos surrounding the paper. Because the paper is essentially a giant photo it sets the scene for the story. I didn't end up with many useable photos because I wasn't allowed to photograph the Cyclorama and we didn't get out to the battlefield. But with postcards, brochures and tickets, the day was captured thoroughly.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Would you believe.....Philadelphia?

Yes! Once more to the big city, this time because the AORN conference was VERY close to home. I traveled down early to be sure to visit some sites. My first stop is just across from the visitor center where they recently added a piece about George Washington's house while he lived in Philadelphia.

The kick-off page features a scrap of patriotic paper on the bottom with a frayed edge and a vintage style sticker border on top. I like my photos on this page very much, even if it is a fairly simple design.

I walked over to re-visit the Poe house and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had added some painted wall coverings to at least give the appearance that this was a lived-in house. I talked to the ranger a bit and he also suggested a biography of Poe that I bought before leaving.

On this layout I again used the decorative paper pack that I believe was either 7x7 or 8x8. On the left I chose the tree and moon to highlight the outside of the house. I added the sticker of a bird under the tree and the journal box with the cat on a fence on top. The rest of the photos simply frame that piece. On the right I used fragments of paper to fill in the background. All of them looked sort of like that full moon on the left so the tone matched. I covered one gap with the crow paper square and another with the unigrid. Nice when it works out like that! I matted the photos in white so they didn't get lost on the page.

My next visit was to the Franklin Court underground museum. I saw the Ranger do a demonstration of the Glass Harmonica--a water based instrument that Franklin invented. I saw quite a few displays but found the place rather dated. The diorama below was supposed to tell the life of Ben Franklin but no longer worked.

For this page I again chose a piece of paper that resembles vintage wallpaper. I found a quote of Ben Franklin's in one of my patriotic paper packs, a left-over sticker from the Philadelphia pack, and pieced the flag heart. This is just the left page because I transitioned to the AORN conference on the next page.

One last visit before leaving town was to Declaration House--a place rarely open when I visit. This is where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and has a museum and recreation of his rooms.

This layout is ALL 8 1/2 x 11 paper! On the left I chose a piece of vellum (same pack as used on the Deschler Morris house page) and a piece of cardstock with the names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. That made a nice base for the journal box and a couple of photos of the entrance signs. On the right I used 2 pages of 8 1/2 x 11 and layered them to fill the bottom portion of the page. The 1" opening at the top is filled with a sticker flag border and a title box.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Traversing the Outer Banks

After leaving Atlantic Beach with Jim's family we planned an extended return by heading to the Outer Banks a little further north. We dropped off Jim's niece just north of Hatteras and headed up the island stopping at Bodie Lighthouse which was under renovation. Since there wasn't much to see there we headed north to Wright Brothers National Memorial.

The left page just has 2 borders as decoration. The borders were made by punching light and dark blue waves with the Creative Memories border maker system. The sand bars come from one rectangular piece of beige paper which I tore diagonally. The stickers are from Creative Memories as well. I scraplifted the idea from a pinterest pin (Dawn Dimock's idea). I think she intended that they border 2 pages for a double layout, but I sort of liked the way they stacked. There is just the one photo of the lighthouse and a unigrid so it helped fill the page nicely. The journaling box is decorated with some remnant seagull stickers I had.

The right page is a pre-made layout. At one point Creative Memories had some pre-designed pages for what they called picfolio albums. Instead of the strap pages they were pre-bound in an album. Unfortunately it wasn't expandable. I did use the album to make a gift but used my own pages as the theme was a bit more tropical. So when I got to these pages, I found the stash and decided the pale blue and beige really looked good with the historic theme and the beach location.

Once we got to Wright Brothers we attended a ranger talk in the visitor center near the replica Wright flyer. This was a great overview to the park. Afterward we walked the grounds and toured the museum.

In the layout above, the left page is a simple wallpaper technique. Beginning with the right side I started using some pre-designed pages that Creative Memories calls "Fast to Fabulous". I bought them because they were on sale. I didn't really think I'd like them but I have to admit--with very little effort a layout comes together QUICKLY. The bottom right rectangle is a pre-designed space. Since I didn't have a photo for that space I looked around for something else to fill in. I found a deck of cards with inspirational sayings that I had won at a crop and thought "Dare to Fly" was quite appropriate for the page! I slipped it onto the page and it was done in a jiffy.

The F2F pages are printed on both sides. One nice thing about that is that you don't have the bulkiness of many layers of card stock on your page. The left page had room for 4 photos. I took one of the pre-arranged photo boxes and added a very large sticker that I had of the Wright Flyer. On these two pages there are just 3 embellishments--the plane sticker, a sun sticker and the word "Fly" that I cut from a sheet of paper travel words. Everything else is F2F,  and a journal box and photo mats made to align with the theme/colors. I didn't even have to trim the photos this time.

If you've tried Fast to Fabulous, let me know your thoughts! Comment below.

Friday, September 1, 2017


Jim's family makes a trip to North Carolina every year and many times we take a trip to or near Cape Lookout as it is only 20 miles from the beach house. This time I wanted to land on the island with the lighthouse and get the stamps available there. I booked a ferry trip from nearby Beaufort and you can see my transport in the photo below. I did NOT expect that the sea spray would completely SOAK me on the ride out and I had not packed a change of clothes. I only stayed a few hours before returning so I could eventually get into something dry.

I scraplifted this from a Creative Memories idea sheet (Click here for directions) and while I like it, I think I might have focused too much on the background than the photos. Now, the photos are all good and tell the story of my visit along with the memorabilia (unigrid), but the paper pieced lighthouse I made in the middle sort of draws the eye away and that wasn't my intention. I'd like to hear from others--do you think the page would still sing without that hunk of paper in the middle or does it set the tone? Comment below!