Friday, March 16, 2018

Portsmouth (AKA Mosquito) Island

Hello from Scrapbook Camp! As this is being posted, I am sitting in my favorite scrapbook retreat putting together more wonderful layouts of National Parks with several friends. I try to do something like this at least once a year, and I can usually get about 40 pages done in a weekend.

But enough about me, let's talk about my trip to Portsmouth Island. And my poor husband who got dragged along and was SUCH a good sport about it. In order to collect some rather rare National Parks Passport Stamps, I arranged a boat ride out to the island. It's a primitive island meaning you pack what you need and pack it out. There are luckily regular bathrooms on the island. So, in the backpack I'm wearing are several bottles of water, mosquito repellent and a large bag of a homemade trail mix. I knew there were going to be bugs. I had read about the island. But trust me, nothing prepares you for the onslaught of insects flying at you. With the repellent, we were protected from bites, but they still flew near enough that you worried they would fly in your mouth! And Jim even put a mosquito repellent wipe on his head under his hat!

So in the photo below, I'm smiling. We haven't hit the buggy part of the island yet. Interestingly, inside the buildings there isn't a bug in sight so we were able to explore indoors with no problem. The problem is moving from building to building. This is an old village so the buildings have quite a bit of space between them.

This is the simplest of scrapbook layouts. There is nothing on the page other than the photos/memorabilia and a few accents. I used every flying insect sticker I could find to illustrate our adventure and I think I just about nailed it. The "Bug Spray Required" sign and the actual bug spray can in the bottom right are both cuts I made with Cricut. I also cut the title "Mosquito Island" on the cricut with a somewhat wacky font I found. I was using a scrap of paper and got too close to the edge on a few of the letters so they have a bit of a scalloped look. With the way the letters are cut, it's really almost too difficult to tell, even up close.

The island looks like everyone just disappeared and could return at any moment. There are stores, a post office, homes, and a life saving station (like a coast guard). Lots of interesting items on display.

This layout was created at a local scrapbook shop called Enchanted memories. I would take a class there about once a month and we would get the layout as well as a sketch in case we wanted to recreate it with other papers. I thought the nautical and somewhat aged look of the accents matched the location and so I just had to apply the photos.

After exploring the life saving station, we sat inside and ate the ENTIRE bag of trail mix I made (and it was about a gallon) then had to make what turned out to be a prolonged hike to the other side of the island for pick up. While being attacked by mosquitoes. We had not brought beach gear with us thinking we would get picked up from the same dock where we were dropped off, so we had to sit in the sun, back to back and await the return boat. On the plus side, our ride back took us past an island full of pelicans, some newly hatched. As you can see from the photo, we lived to tell our story!

This page started with the border on the bottom left page. I made this at a class many years ago and had nearly forgotten about it. The boat that we rode in was sort of small, so this captured the essence for me. On the right page, I made the journaling box from an idea posted on the old Creative Memories website. I had saved the instructions in the comments. If anyone is interested in recreating it, check here. Both the border and journal card had the same color palate, so I looked for more scraps of paper in the same shades and found the 2 long borders at the top as well as enough blue and yellow to throw some mats and some vertical strips on the pages. It was completely random, but I really like the way the pages came together.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Ocracoke Island

In September, Jim and I made our annual trip to the beach to stay with his family. We started a few days early to work our way to North Carolina. Our first stop was the Outer Banks area. I wanted to go to an offshoot of Cape Lookout called Portsmouth Island and the only way to get there is to take a ferry from Ocracoke. Ironically, Ocracoke is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, not Cape Lookout.

For this page, I used a layout I made at the Lancaster Creating Keepsakes Convention through Petticoat Parlor (Link). The class was held to help us learn to use gelato paint on thin wood as die cuts for our pages (palm tree and 2 shells in bottom corner). I have to admit, I do not like the wood die cuts. Even though they are thin, they are too thick for my taste. (Not crazy about the string or anchor at the top either). However, I took the class and paid for all of it, so I left the page "as-is". This is actually 1/2 of the layout I made. I used the other half for a non-NPS page.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Convention in the Capital--part 5: George Washington Memorial Parkway

On Monday, Jim and I joined an all-day tour of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. As you can see from the left page, there are a LOT of sites along the route. While we didn't see everything, we did make a good dent in the number and I felt confident counting it as one of my visited parks. Our first stop was Fort Hunt Park. Like many places along the route, there isn't a visitor center. In fact, this area is used as a local park with picnic tables and ball fields. It was great that we could explore with a ranger and get the history of the park.

The left page was created from an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper from the Washington DC scrapbook kit from Eastern National. I placed it along the right edge of the page and then filled in the left with a bus sticker (which conveniently had a DC tour theme), a picture of the side of our bus, and a unigrid. That left a little room for journaling about the trip we were to take.

The right page was one of our first stops. I actually struggled with this page as I didn't think I needed a double-page layout, but I wanted the group photo in the 8x10 enlargement. Once trimming the grass and sky, it gave me a bit more room for a photo of our ranger from the talk and a postcard that does a good job describing the importance of the site. Then I added a scrap of paper with tones of grass and flowers on it. I think it finished the page nicely!

As we continued along the route, we stopped at a site that was a civil war installation to protect Washington DC. They have some cannons left in place. Although there is a sign describing the area, it was good to have the ranger as well. On the right, we stopped at a wetland area. Part of the site includes a small structure across the river which is what the bottom photo shows.

I once again started with the right page, and chose a Fast-to-Fabulous page for the 2 photos. A lot of the F2F pages fit just 2 photos so when I have a small amount, I sort of gravitate to that stash to find a color appropriate. To match the right page, I chose papers in similar shades on the left. I chose this page sketch to create the layout Sketch inspiration. You can see that I moved the decorative elements, mostly because my photo was vertically oriented. The circles were actually laying around in  the "extras" pile. Love when that happens.

Our lunch stop was at Great Falls park. Although I don't have pictures of the lunch, I chose the "Picnic in the Park" as the theme for the page. These falls are just across the river from our canal boat ride so we got to see them from 2 directions.

This layout was made as part of a Creative Memories virtual crop. If you look at this page Challenge page and scroll down a little you will see the 2-page sketch. I chose the colors from the photos--blue from the water and orange from the visitor center sign. A quick way to make the banners seen on this page is to cut a rectangle of the approximate length and width you want. On the side you want to make into a banner, fold the paper in half (you don't need to crease the paper) and cut from the open end corner toward the fold. When you open the paper you will have a symmetrical banner end. If you want a pointed banner instead of the "flags" seen here, just cut from the fold up toward the open end.

One of our last stops was the Clara Barton house. I was very excited to visit here given my medical background.

The left page was another virtual crop challenge (Challenge page). The 4 blocks along the middle aren't exactly the same size as they are in the sketch. Part of that is due to the fact that I cut the photos before I realized what I was going to do with the page. Then again, a sketch is a starting point, not a mandatory layout. What I remember about the house most is her use of gauze to create a ceiling (which is still in place). For that reason, I picked bandages from my medical stickers folder to decorate the page. The border below the unigrid is the Creative Memories Medallion Frame Chain border. I toyed with the idea of keeping the middle pieces to decorate the opposite page but decided against it. The bottom right corner is a die cut from the EN DC Scrapbook kit (similar to the Great Falls Tavern I used previously).

The right page is wall paper. The paper is from an old Creative Memories package called Reminisce Birthday. I liked the red and white stripe and the antique feel to the paper. I ended up using all memorabilia on this page--the left 2 items are postcards and the right is the brochure for the house. I think they really told the story better than my photos did.

That ends this convention. Next week we move to the southeast region and our beach trip for the year!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Convention in the Capital--part 4: Canal Boat Ride

Jim and I joined a group trip out to Great Falls Tavern where we prepared to take a ride on an authentic canal boat. The trip is staffed by re-enactors in period garb who perform all the same tasks as the original canal workers--handling the mules, opening the locks, and running the boats.
This is another example of when I work on the right page and then make the left page fit the style. I wanted something that would have a little nautical feel to it but also would work well with the historic feel of the photos. This is the inspiration for the right page: Scraplifted from here. I certainly added more photos, but kept the basic elements. Once that page was done, the left fell into place. The rope stickers were from the Creative Memories National Scrapbook Day kit. Since I had that out, I found the background paper on the left that resembled wood from a boardwalk. That worked out for the "land based" part of the photos. I did mat the unigrid because it was getting lost in all the grey and white of the page. The die cut with the description of the tavern is from the Eastern National scrapbook kit.

Once on the boat we had a great view of the locks as we traveled through. It was really amazing how much water flowed through the lock as it took us up and down the canal.
I returned to wall paper for these pages. I believe these are from an older Creative Memories travel pack, though I don't remember the name of the pack. I liked the gear because it reminded me of a ship's wheel. I only matted a couple of the photos because they were so close in color to the page that I didn't want them to be lost. The journal boxes are from a Club Scrap farm kit.

We ended our trip with a group photo. Since group photos look better at 8x10, they need a full page to themselves. Again, I found a ship's wheel to accent the page with a small journal box from club scrap.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Convention in the Capital--part 3: Teddy Roosevelt Island

Sunday morning, the club sponsored a get-together on Theodore Roosevelt Island. Several club members and I took the Metro and then walked to the park. Once there, one of the capitol locations with a LOT of stamps had set up tents with all the stamps available to us. It was a veritable smorgasbord of stamping! We listened to a ranger talk but did not take advantage of the walk around the island.

The background of the left page of the layout is an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper split into thin strips and spread across the page. The paper is from the Eastern National scrapbook pack. If you can't quite make out the pattern, it's the NPS arrowhead logo printed in tile fashion across the page. The journal box originally had a flower in the left corner. Technically, it's still there, but I covered it with a Teddy Roosevelt sticker. (This sticker and the Grant sticker from last week are from the Washington DC scrapbook pack from Eastern National. Slightly different than the traditional pack.)

The right page is just plaid wallpaper. I didn't mat any of the photos because the  little bit of foliage I left when trimming the photos was sort of a mat for me.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Convention in the Capital--part 2: Monuments and Memorials

These 2 layouts are actually taken out of order from the album, but the content was such that they really belong in the same blog post. So the first layout includes night photos. After the convention, Jim and I went to dinner at Union Station and walked back to our hotel. The daylight photo of the capitol came from a different walk, but I wanted to keep all the photos together. I had some trouble with the low light so the night images are a bit blurry. The Grant Memorial is right in front of the capital and since we could get close I could use a flash which gave some interesting perspective on the monument with the charging horses.
The left page is a pre-printed page with the capitol, flags and stars. To make a similar page on the right I used a Grant Memorial sticker from the Eastern National scrapbooking pack and 2 flag stickers. I used mini alphabet stickers from Creative Memories to make the title. I filled in the space between photos and journal box with star stickers. To give a little more definition to the page I used Washi tape in a blue stripe to cover the edges. When I looked at the 2 pages I decided to use the Washi tape on the left as well for more similarity. It's unfortunate that there are some stars that are partly covered by the tape, but otherwise I really like the effect.

The next layout is from a different day. Jim stayed in the hotel room while I walked up to see the Japanese-American memorial. A new stamp had been created for this memorial and I wanted to see it in person. Jim asked that I find the Meade Memorial on the way and take a few photos for him since Meade figured so prominently in Jim's book.

The page on the left is wall paper. I found the theme of the paper had an Asian feel to it. I added a few stickers to the journal box and corner from the Creative Memories Celebrations sticker pack. The right hand page background I created with the Creative Memories border maker system and the Our Memories Asian fan cartridge. There are a total of 9 blocks, each 4" x 4". I punched each side of each block in the middle of the block and then layered them like tiles for a background. It was labor intensive and I'm not sure I'd do it again, but it was fun to try once. I got the idea from this layout: Link here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Convention in the Capital--part 1: The annual meeting

In early August 2011 the National Park Travelers Club held their 9th annual convention at the National Mall. Jim and I drove down after work Friday. Saturday morning I helped with morning registration before the event. There were several speakers (including me as a surprise fill-in for someone who canceled).

I think this layout turned out well. I scraplifted it from this layout that I found on pinterest: Left pageRight page. I had some blue striped paper for the top and left side, and I had a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 with stars and banners for the split in the middle. I chose red mats instead of white and I think that helps set off the photos over the white background better. My stickers and die cuts included my name tag from the event. The title was cut with the Cricut using one of the free fonts on the machine.