Friday, April 28, 2017

A little camping trip

My next entry covers a trip Jim and I made to Shenandoah National Park. While our 2nd trip to the area, this one would cover the entire length of Skyline Drive and includes an overnight stay inside the park.

This trip generated several pages so I started off with a single kick-off to introduce the trip (and because my previous layout ended as a one-pager on the left). It's mostly post cards and brochures with the exception of the photo of Jim on an outcropping of rock. The background is from a kit I earned for buying a lot of scrapbook supplies and is nature themed, so it will be featured throughout these layouts.

I am by nature a chronological scrapbooker, but these pages are more thematic based on what we saw. For instance, we saw deer in various places and on multiple days throughout the trip so I put all those photos on one page.

I love a good title, and thought this "Oh Deer" one really worked. You can see I'm using the nature kit again and the journal box matches in a way that almost makes it seem like a vellum overlay. On the right the dark brown paper is also from the same kit. The paper doesn't quite cover the page, but cutting a strip to put the white blank section just off center isn't a bad look for the page.

So technically, we visited 2 parks here--Shenandoah and the Appalachian Trail. Though somehow I neglected to get a unigrid for the AT.

Ah, another good title. The story of Jim mistaking a log for a bear is one of those that is remembered and repeated often. I was thinking about a title for a long time before I realized that "Bear false witness" summed up the story nicely. On these pages I used border strips and corners from the nature pack and accented with just a couple of stickers. I am quite proud of this layout.

The final 2 pages highlight our campsite and our excursion on horseback (which I highly recommend). Each page features a border that I made.

When you look at these pages individually they each work well, but as a 2-page layout it's a little unbalanced. So let's discuss each one separately.

On the left the border should have been placed at the bottom. With the die cut and stickers extending over the top it really pushes the border down the page. But the composition is fairly balanced so not a bad layout.

On the right the border at the top matches the nature page and you almost don't notice the white strip between the border and the photos. Again, the photos and journaling tells the story and the overall look is appealing.

Then when you look at them together you see the problem. The borders are unbalanced and it makes everything seem off kilter. Still, minor problems overall. And it was a great trip--that's what I want to remember.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Oh say can you see?

As you may have guessed from the title, my next park visit is Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Jim and I were celebrating our 10th anniversary that weekend and he lovingly allowed me to include a park stamp experience as part of our celebration.

We watched the movie at the visitor center and then toured the fort. This was 2006 and the video was made....oh maybe in the 70's? It was very old and dated. Still, it got the message across and we enjoyed the tour of the fort. We especially enjoyed finding a crate of ammunition produced in Jim's hometown area.

OK, wallpaper on the left, but a much better balance of photos and pattern than Ben Franklin's birthday pages. Hey, the fort is all about the Star Spangled Banner. Is there any other paper I could have used? I think not. On the right are just simple photo mats and corners which balance the composition nicely.

Also on the right is the admission sticker they gave us when we entered the visitor center. At the end of the tour I saved it by mounting it in the passport and then cutting it out and mounting it on the page. Because this was a white sticker on a white background I outlined the sticker with a marker. These days "chalking ink" which is essentially a lightly inked stamp pad, works better to define the edges. I have always struggled with "staying in the lines" when I color and I can clearly see the corner problem I had with the marker.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Birthday Ben

Well, it's another trip to Philadelphia and I believe that I must by now have discovered the National Park Travelers Club and its wonderful Master List because otherwise I don't think I would have known that there was a stamp at the Franklin Institute. To be honest this only marginally qualifies for the blog because the Ben Franklin National Memorial is an affiliated site and not one of the "proper" National Park units.

During this visit, the Franklin Institute was hosting a presentation of Body Worlds and so Jim joined me and the surgical technology students on our annual journey to see the exhibit. This is as close to a national park as I will get on this trip. 
This is yet another example of "wallpaper" technique. But not a very good one. The print is just too busy for the photos. The matting on the left page actually does help. However, I didn't think I could mat the photos on the right without losing the essence of the photos. Maybe if I had put all three in a row across the middle it would help. I probably decided that the busy paper would REALLY overwhelm the photos then. Or I would consider it dead space even if there is a print. 

These days I would use portions of a paper this busy instead of the entire sheet. Border strips, small squares, or even banners and tags would break up the design to something more pleasing to the eye. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Exploring MLK in Atlanta

Breaking out of a rut here--a park not mentioned so far! In December of 2005 I made a trip to Atlanta with my sister Lisa and her daughter Sierra. Although no longer living down there, Lisa still has ties to the area and I had a week long break so it was a win-win. (Except for the music part--this was the trip the Chicago musical CD got stuck in her car's audio system and we could only listen to "Jailhouse Tango" for the entire trip).

While Lisa went into her office for the day I headed out to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. This included the visitor center, the church where he preached (and is buried) and an historic firehouse.

I have broken away from the neutral colored pages and returned to plain white. The borders along the edge are pre-cut strips from a pack. It looks like I chose yellow to compliment the 2 postcards I purchased, and with a little more yellow as photo mats, I find a good deal of balance in the page. The 2 stickers come from the National Parks scrapbook kit and also lend a little decoration to the page.

If you look at the unigrid closely, it is mounted on the page with clear photo mounting corners. If I cannot find pockets for the memorabilia, I do prefer photo corners. It is a little tricky to get the item to mount in a straight line but once you perfect the technique (start with diagonal upper and lower corners) they provide a secure method of mounting to the page with the option to retrieve and review in the future. What sorts of memorabilia do you routinely collect to add to your pages? Share with me in a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

No foolin--this was a trip to the mall!

Well, I just couldn't pass up the pun so I am adding a 2nd installment this weekend in honor of April Fools Day. This layout is another example of a trip to the National Mall which isn't really about the park as much as it is a special event held there. But, there is a photo of the Washington Monument, so I'm going to count it as a park visit.

I found out about the National Book festival because my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon was there to do a reading and sign copies of her new novel "A Breath of Snow and Ashes". Jim and I also got to listen to David McCullough. It was just a day trip, but we made the most of it.

I hesitate to call this layout "wallpaper" technique. The cardstock from Creative Memories was 10x12 (at the time) so they don't really cover the page. I ended up taking a contrasting sheet and using it to cover the open middle. If you look closely you'll notice the torn edges. I don't think I had a tearing tool at the time, it was just a hand rip. The maroon and green color scheme comes from the brochure for the festival, and coordinates nicely with the photos.

The top left and bottom right corners come from a border making class I took once. It was really difficult to keep all those individual strips together so if you look REALLY closely you will probably see the adhesive showing through some of the gaps. Between that and the stickers though, I was able to keep this intact until it found a place on my pages. It has a fall sort of feel to me, so it works pretty well on the layout.

Friday, March 31, 2017

I guess it was a visit...

Jim and I often had date night by taking a trip to a dinner theater, so this trip was focused on attending the Lazy Susan Dinner Theater. I did some research to find a National Park nearby so I could get a stamp and decided on Manassas. We went to the visitor center and saw the maps then bought a tape of the auto tour to listen to as we drove around the battlefield. Unfortunately the map in the unigrid did not match the auto tour numbers and the map that should have been given to us with the tape was missing. We got frustrated pretty quickly because a lot of the drive is on local roads and there was quite a bit of traffic. We felt unsafe making stops in what clearly was not a standard stop. We drove back to the gift shop to demand our money back, skipped the battlefield and headed over to Arlington Cemetery where we walked up to the Marine Corps Memorial. I did save the entrance tickets from Manassas for scrapping and so that is as close to a National Park as I could get for this layout.

This page is another example of wallpaper technique. It's a little hard to make out but this is a pattern paper with cars on it to represent our car ride. Patterned paper can be very useful in setting a tone for a page.

Although the Manassas tickets are red, they accent the page well because red and green are complimentary colors (there's a reason they look good at Christmas time too!) If you haven't picked one up for scrapbooking, investing in a simple color wheel helps find colors to use together. You can take a single color in a variety of tones (monochromatic), two colors opposite each other (complimentary), or three colors evenly spaced around the spectrum (triad). If you try something new, drop me a line below and tell me about it!

Journaling is always important to scrapbooking because it helps tell the story of the pictures. I generally feel like I over journal but given the limited amount I shared above I think shortchanged the reader. I guess I didn't want to sound too harsh to the park in something that will outlive me. What do you think, should I add more detail to the journaling on the page?

Friday, March 24, 2017

New Years Eve in Tennessee

Instead of driving to Atlanta for Christmas 2004, Jim and I met Lisa and her family about halfway in Johnsonville, TN. Jim and I arrived a little earlier so I could visit the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site. Not knowing about the NPTC yet I don't even think it dawned on me that they might have been closed for New Year's Eve or that there was more to see than the visitor center. But we made a thorough tour of the museum at the visitor center and I got a stamp.

This page features a border that I made. I occasionally set aside time to make borders and store them for future use. It is in the vein of "Between the Rails" since there is a line sticker at the top and bottom. I like that I used stickers to create the "i" in trip but I put too many stickers on there. I think a little natural space between the words would be better. Very little other decoration on the page, but that's OK because that header is so busy. Still, perhaps a photo mat or two would be in good taste.