Friday, April 13, 2018

Santa and Trains

So, I have a Dad who's been building model railroads since I was little and 2 nephews who love trains. So I thought that taking them to Steamtown would be a great getaway. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, Steamtown has a holiday train every year and this was our destination.
The first pages in my layout were created during a Creative Memories Advisor challenge one night. It wasn't a sketch, it just asked us to use current materials. I actually hadn't bought much new paper from them but then realized that I had bought the Fast-to-Fabulous Gallivant collection. I leafed through the pages and found these 2 with red borders and a little splash of yellow. That left the middle open for me to play with. I added the photos of arriving at the park sign, the boys in their engineer hats, and the train arriving at the station. They are simply mounted on photo mats which coordinated with the Gallivant pages.

For embellishments, I did have to resort to the Adventure pack which wasn't as current. However, there was a great circle with a train as well as a die-cut train. The die-cut I mounted on a red square because it was looking odd having multiple colors behind it. The wreath on the die-cut was created through punches. CM had an outdoor theme punch with antlers. I punched those in green and added some small red flowers for holly. The last additions were a postcard journal box and our train ride tickets (added with photo corners).

The next set of pages captures the ride and our visit with Santa. There is a tunnel along the route and it became "magic" as the rangers would quickly switch to Christmas theme clothing on the way to Santa's village, and then back to ranger clothing on the return trip. We sang carols and listened to Christmas stories. It was a fun trip.

Of course this layout had to be more "Christmassy", so I used a sheet of older CM paper which has Santa's belt across the bottom. I added a piece of Holidazzle paper as a mat for the 3 photos. The Believe sticker is from a sheet of holiday words. On the right I tried to match the red background, and because of the caroling photos I chose a sheet of paper with music as a large mat for the photos.

After our train ride we continued to explore the site which has many displays of train cars. It's very educational with a cutaway of an engine to explain how steam engines work.

Both of these photos are wallpaper. The one on the left is obvious because the train pattern is so bold. The one on the right has more of a watermark train in the background and that was harder to photograph.

One of the last things we did was watch the trains used for excursions return to the "barn". This involved the center rail rotating to allow engines to go into different bays. It was great to watch the big engines so close!

On the final layout I wanted to use the train die-cut I made on the Cricut that you see on the bottom of the right page. The tracks are an old CM sticker and the die-cut fit perfectly. Because the diecut was in black and red, I chose to use those colors on the rest of the background. I cut card stock into equal widths and layered them along the page. The last item I added was our entry sticker for the day which I had preserved on a piece of paper in my National Parks Passport. We spent the entire day there and had a great time.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Oh the things I will do for a stamp--part 2

You may recall that I took a Greyhound bus to a rather small city in Colorado and spent all day there to get a passport stamp. Well, while in Las Vegas I managed another incredible tale of getting a stamp. And this time I took my mother along.

I knew that a cab ride from the hotel to the BLM office would be expensive, so I mapped out a trip on the bus system. Having nothing better to do, my mom said she would join me. We weren't prepared to be on a bus that stopped for every handicapped person in Las Vegas. This extended the time on the bus because the bus driver had to get up and hook in the wheelchairs to a special seat area. Then about 2 stops later he had to unhook someone to let them off. We finally finished our first leg and were ready for our transfer. But we ended up standing in the hot sun in what turned out to be a nest of fire ants. We finally go to the last stop and then had to hike about a quarter of a mile to the office. And the only thing there is the stamp. In case you are wondering it's for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. And I made mom photograph me getting it so that we could scrapbook the story!

We took a cab back--it was worth every penny!

This is a picfolio page which was set for 2 vertical photos. I chose to put an embellishment in one of the blocks and use the space below for a horizontal photo. This is a very simple embellishment--it's actually a journal box with a die cut of a compass rose (from the old Creative Memories "Done with One" page of die cuts). Then I just wrote the phrase. I got the idea from a sheet Creative Memories would give to advisors and are now on Ebay among other places.

I wanted the yellowish tones because it would work with the road stickers I wanted to use. I only regret not using the embellishment space as the journaling box as I could have written more of the story without crowding it into the small journal box in the corner.

And you know, my Mom still goes with me on trips so I guess it didn't completely sour her on stamping :)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

No Fooling--There's a reason they call it "Grand"

I was planning on posting this Friday night, but could not resist another April Fools Day Post. Plus it's Easter and the canyon walls are striped like Easter eggs. What a perfect fit!

Well, after the 5 HOUR bus ride (see last week's comments) we arrived at the Grand Canyon. The bus driver had said that no photo could do justice to the actual beauty of the area, and he was right. While this series of layouts commemorates the visit I made, the colors just cannot compare to seeing the canyon with your own eyes. If you haven't gone yet, please plan to do so!

The left page of this layout is actually wallpaper. I had purchased a series of papers from Ebay which you'll see in the next few layouts. The bottom 3 "photos"  are actually part of the paper, which allowed me to focus on photos of me and my family at the canyon. The right page features a detailed die cut from Paper Wizard. I purchased it at a scrapbook convention in Lancaster and the idea for the page was actually featured in their booth. I took a photo and scraplifted it as part of the kickoff for this trip.

We were given just 2 hours to walk from our drop off point on the eastern side of the south rim to the pick up spot on the western side (in the village). It made me feel rushed, but we did take time to photograph the area.

The right page was my attempt to show the distance to the north rim. I took one photo at wide angle lens and then a zoom photo of the same spot. I thought it rather clever to highlight the similarities in the photos with different sized black rings. The sticker between them is supposed to be an arrow with a right angle turn, but it was a bit too transparent and I think it gets a little lost on the page.

About halfway to our destination we came across the nature walk that describes the formation of the canyon. I do think we went backwards, but it was still interesting.

As I mentioned, all of these papers are wall paper. For the left page above I augmented the text that was pre-printed on the page. I thought adding the word "geology" would provide context for the trail. And we made it to the destination area in plenty of time!

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Non-visit Visit

In September 2011, Jim and I joined our family in Las Vegas to share in my brother's wedding festivities. As a group (bride's and groom's families) we took a bus trip to the Grand Canyon. While that  will be the focus of next week's blog, I wanted to share the first layout of the trip which is actually Lake Mead NRA. I don't count it as a visit because although I saw it, the bus just drove through on the way to Grand Canyon. Which I will point out is a 5 HOUR drive from Vegas. It was not our brightest move!

This layout uses a Fast-to-Fabulous page on the right. I accented both pages with a set of borders I made using Creative Memories travel paper and cardstock. The borders are 2 layers of their Border Maker System. Although both cartridges have been retired, there are ways to layer the cartridges which make for additional interest. It's a great way to perk up a page. After adding those, a couple of accent pieces and mats were all that was needed to finish the page. The yellow mat I picked because I really wanted to use the "Are we there yet?" tag (see 5 HOUR comment above). That helped tie the tag to the page.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Two lighthouses

After returning from Mosquito Island we were headed back to our cottage. Since we were passing Cape Hatteras light, we stopped to take a few photos. The visitor center was closed but we could still walk around the structures. The next morning we revised our route to the Corrigan's Condo and so I requested a stop at Bodie Island Lighthouse as well.

These 2 pages are from Forevermore Scrapbooks in Gettysburg. They have a wide array of National Park photo pages. They actually are each to have another page so that they make 2-page layouts with the 2nd page being a photo of the lighthouse. I find that sort of redundant, so I just buy the page with the park sign on it. And it worked perfectly here as wallpaper for my lighthouse photos. All I needed to do was mat the photos and journal and--voila!

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.