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!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fossilized Trees

In the summer of 2010 I traveled to Denver for a conference and as my aunt and uncle live just south of the city I made plans to visit them. While I was with them we visited a National Park very close to their house called Florissant Fossil Beds.

This is one of my favorite layouts. The paper and embellishments come from Club Scrap (You can check them out here). While you could sign up for monthly shipments, they also allow people to buy "a la carte" and I've purchased from them several times. I think their National Park themed papers are now sold out, but it's worth checking out their site periodically to see if they do a re-issue or a new similar theme.

This is the layout as shown on the Club Scrap website (click here). You can see that I modified the layout slightly. The backgrounds are the same and I used red card stock to mat the photos but they are laid out slightly differently. Because the backgrounds are busy the mats help make the photos stand out. I made a couple of cutting errors. First, I cut the photos too soon so I had to be creative in arranging them on the page. Next, I cut the mats wrong and the upper right is actually 2 pieces edged together. Still, you have to look closely and there is just a slight difference in matting around the photos.

Friday, August 18, 2017

I have taken a house in Germantown...

And a return to Philadelphia! I hope you aren't tired of these visits as we have a lot more! This is again after my annual student trip to the Mutter museum. This time I made the LONG journey by bus out to the Germantown White House or Deshler Morris House. This is where George Washington stayed as president while trying to escape the rampant disease in the downtown Philly area.

I surprised myself by not having any photos of the interior of the house. I'm sure I was allowed to take them but perhaps they didn't turn out well. So, I did get a shot of the front of the house and the garden in the back. The page was simply made. The confetti look is achieved through an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of vellum with the confetti printed on it. I added a scrap of blue to the right side to close the gap. This also allowed me a place to journal. The stickers are from the same sheet used in the previous Independence Hall page. Looks a little like Martha?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Oh the things I will do for a stamp.....

The next set of layouts is from a day spent in Greeley, CO. It was March and I was in Denver for the AORN national convention. I arrived a day early to do some stamp gathering and decided to take a Greyhound bus to Greeley to pick up a Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Stamp. Again an affiliated site, but I had few options without a car. My first stop in town was at the museum where the stamp is kept and I walked through all the exhibits.

The opening layout focuses on one of the museum exhibits--a dress made from snake skins. I looked high and low to find a piece of paper that would look something like snake and that became the background. I also had to hunt for snake stickers which surprised me, but I was ultimately successful again. I built the title bar from a piece of contrasting paper so the green snake would not get lost in the details. The right page is more about the city, and I tore a piece of green paper to simulate a grassy slope then accented the upper photos with green mats.

I ended up spending all day in Greeley and walked literally across town. If you look at a Google Map, look for the mall and Meeker House. I walked at least 3 miles. I wish I had been wearing a pedometer. Luckily I could get a bus from the mall back to town.

My second stop of the day is the Meeker house below which is the home of the city's founder. I could not go in but did walk along the grounds. My day lasted a little extra long as the bus to return me to Denver at the end of the day was running late and I spent a few chilly hours waiting outside as there is no proper bus station in town. But, I did end up back in Denver that evening and made it to the conference the next day.

This layout is also wallpaper, and like the snakeskin paper--purposeful. I found the paper in a scrapbook store north of Pittsburgh and knew immediately it would tell the story of walking through town and seeing this historic home. I had to do a little photo adjusting to use only vertical photos but it seemed like my photos knew this ahead of time. I'm quite pleased with how these pages turned out.