Friday, February 24, 2017

My First Little Blue Book

My next entry is a single page from Independence. I took my Surgical Technology class to Philadelphia to see the Mutter Museum. After the museum I walked down to Independence National Historical Park and was able to see the Liberty Bell. If you examine the photos closely you'll see that the space between the visitor center and Independence Hall is rather undeveloped. The Liberty Bell is off to the side in a small building and there was no museum of information--just the bell. The grass isn't even mowed much in the park space.

But what is most important about this trip is this is when I finally decided to purchase the National Parks Passport and I got my first stamp. Just one. I also bought the sticker pack and thought that I was supposed to stamp across the sticker so it's really hard to read the bottom. I quickly deduced that was a mistake and haven't done it since :)

Here is that first stamp:

I like the border I made though my spacing is a bit off. That is a pack of stickers available at the Visitor Center gift shop and I think they help balance out my photographic inabilities. I think at the time that I was convinced I didn't need photo mats but looking back I think they would have helped the page a bit.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The First Layout with a Unigrid

My next recorded visit is a double page about Fort Sumter. Jim and I traveled to Charleston, SC for a conference and took a bit of time to site see before returning home. This is one of the places I distinctly remember picking up the little blue passport book, and putting it down again without buying it.

What is this "Unigrid" I mention in the title? It's the brochure on the bottom right page. When opened there is information on the park and often a map of the unit.

There are not a lot of photos in this layout, but the key ones are there: 1) photos of us with the sign, and 2) cannons. I used more of a "patriotic" feel with this layout as Civil War materials are hard to come by. The borders are part of a tablet of borders that I bought and have a red background with white stars. The 2 photo mats I chose are from a calendar that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. Each day was a mat and many of them have additional art in the middle under the photo.

I probably could have matted the photo of Jim since it's the only thing not touching paper. I'm not crazy about the sleeve for the unigrid--it's open on both ends so I think it could easily fall out. Unfortunately my favorite storage for those have been discontinued and I'm afraid if I take the photo sleeve off the page I'll end up with damage.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The First Double Double

My next set of National Park layouts is this pair of pairs from Petersburg. Jim and I were at the end of a very long drive back from Atlanta where we stopped at a variety of military museums. This was mostly a "Jim" trip, but don't worry I get back at him later. 😁

I wonder where I got that Civil War paper. This is something that I'm going to struggle with a LOT as there are many Civil War era national park units and a shortage of papers and stickers for that theme.

So obviously the left page is "wallpaper" technique. The right side is a bit bare. I should have matted some of the photos I think. Or perhaps used a split page for that one piece of Civil War themed paper.

Here is the 2nd set of layout pages. What is a bit unusual is that the "Title" ends up on the 2nd of the 2 layouts. I think that is because this was the real focus of our visit. Jim is planning to write about the Crater and this will provide some background for his book.

I rather like the alternating square border on the right and that I seem to have coordinated colors a bit better, pulling the red/brown from the left photo and using that to mat photos and choose the squares.  In this phase of my scrapbooking history I'm using the "natural" colored pages from Creative Memories and it does seem to deaden the title letters. Perhaps I should outline them with a dark marker.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A slight retraction

As I continue through my scrapbooks in search of layouts for this blog, I came across this 2-page layout which is sort of Shenandoah National Park. Now in a previous blog post I mentioned that my first set of NP layouts was Gettysburg. Which chronologically is true. However, what I realized as I took the photo of this spread is that this was the first layout I actually made about a national park.

When my niece was born in 2000, my sister decided we should learn to scrapbook. I had toyed with the idea a bit but didn't really understand it. However, I bought a scrapbook album kit and went to a crop at her friend's house. The consultant said I should start with the photos that I had most recently taken and that would include a weekend trip to Virginia for Memorial Day Weekend. We walked through Luray Caverns and then chose to drive along Skyline Drive. We did not understand how long it would take to see everything while making all the scenic overlook stops so we probably saw about 1/3rd of the road during this trip before heading home.

Technically, the only national park photos are the ones on the right page as the cloud formations were taken from our hotel room in New Market. I'm actually pleased with the composition of the photos considering how early this was in my scrapbooking life. The scrapbooking technique used here is called "wallpaper"--you simply use 2 background papers as the backdrop for all the photos. I chose this pale blue to represent the sky, and between that and the clouds, I think the top turned out fairly well. I wish I had matched the flowers on the left and right pages. I do like symmetry. Also, if I had to do it over, I would do something to stretch out the grass and place them more evenly across the 2 pages.

The page looks unusual because I ended up tearing the first scrapbook apart and using Creative Memories pages. The original CM pages were not quite 12x12, but the paper was. So there is a bit of paper overlapping the CM page edges and that's where the edges are getting worn even with a page protector.

What is most interesting to me is the fact that I layered photos. This is something I still struggle with today as I inherently want everything to be distinct. (I also don't like food touching on my plate so perhaps there is a correlation there). A couple weekends ago I participated in a scrapbook challenge to put more than 8 pictures on one page or more than 12 on 2 pages. I ended with a 2-page spread of 14 photos. After struggling with placement I realized I would need to stack the photos and it was as strange to me today after years of experience as ever. So I guess my take away is that everyone has room for growth.