Monthly Archives: January 2013

Europe Trip: Greek Island Cruise departing from Brindisi, Italy

Europe Trip: Greek Island Cruise

Europe Trip: Greek Island Cruise

After visiting Pompeii we boarded an overnight Ferry in Brindisi, Italy which took us to Corfu, in the Greek Islands.  This page doesn’t really stand out, but I did use a technique that was new to me.  You will notice the cruise ship on the left hand page and it looks like it is riding on the ocean’s horizon on the background paper.  The way that I created this was to take one page of clouds and one page of waves and cut each in half.  Then the two halves were pasted next to each other to create the effect of the horizon.  You will have to excuse the crazy “Titanic” pose on the right hand page – I don’t know what we were thinking but we were having fun.

Paris Tours


Europe Trip: Pompeii – Porn, Death, and Art

Europe Trip: Pompeii - Porn, Death, and Art

Europe Trip: Pompeii – Porn, Death, and Art

You are probably shaking your head at the tile of this post, and I was shaking my head when trying to figure out how to group these pictures together in one spread.  The left hand side holds pictures of phallic symbols in the roads and on buildings, meant to direct international travelers to the brothels, as well as ancient paintings meant to depict the specialties of the different women.  The right hand side has wonderful frescoes found in some of the homes as well as pictures of casts made from filling the holes that were left in the solid ash after bodies decomposed.

To mix this juxtaposition of carnal, sorrow and beauty I decided to focus on colors that could be used as backgrounds to unify the pictures.  I chose a burgundy that matched the color of the wall in the bottom right hand corner to frame the photographs on the left hand side, and a complimentary green to border the pictures on the right hand side.  The background papers are different colors of the same pattern and this helps to tie the two pages together.  I used a corner cutter on the photo borders to hold the photos in place and to add some class to these sad but elegant pictures.

Paris Tours

Europe Trip: Pompeii, Italy

Europe Trip: Pompeii, Italy

Europe Trip: Pompeii, Italy

Our next stop was Pompeii. This was a sobering stop. To realize that this entire city was buried in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and that thousands were killed was saddening. Then to realize that this entire area has been painstakingly excavated in unbelievable – the tons of dirt and rock and had to be moved!

What I am most proud of on this set of pages is the handmade background that I made on the left page. I created Mt Vesuvius from color papers and then ran rivers of red lava down the side of the mountain. Some of the ash clouds are made of vellum, a paper that is transparent and can be found in many different colors. I had fun running the lava between the pictures and their borders as this helped it to stand out much more than when I tried laying it under the borders. I also journaled on vellum on the right hand side. Vellum can be hard to stick on your page because you can usually see the sticker or glue that is used to hold the paper in place. In this case I used an invisible double sided tape to hold the vellum in place. I have also used spray adhesive to affix vellum before but I find that the spray adhesive is best used outside so not to make everything else around your project sticky.

Paris Tours

Europe Vacation: Title Page – Book 2

Europe Vacation: Title Page - Book 2

Europe Vacation: Title Page – Book 2

I am actually embarrassed by this page.  I did it at the end of the two volume process (remember I did all of these pages in two very full weekends), and I just wanted to get it done quickly.  I probably should go back and redo the page.  But, there is a cool tool on this page that I wanted to share with you. In the middle of the “sun” is a voice recorder.  It allows you to record up to 30 seconds of sound or voice.  The reason that I wanted to add this to the page was that our tour guide played the same song every day in the morning on the bus to help wake us up to get us going and I recorded 30 seconds of that song and added it to the book.  Even now, 10 years later, this is still working.  Now, with the advance in technology these have become much smaller and there are many options that you can look for.  One that looks interesting to me is the “Sounds Easy” – and I plan to put this on my birthday and Christmas wish lists.

Here are some things that I would do differently on this page if I were to create it today:

  1. Not used the word “Book” – I would have titled it “Volume 2”.
  2. I would have used my Cricut to cut the Title out – it would have helped it to look more elegant.
  3. While I would have still used the bus sticker I would not have created the mishmash of other stickers that don’t really work together at all.

Maybe one day if I rework this I will add it to this page. 🙂

Paris Tours

Europe Vacation: Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Europe Vacation: Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Europe Vacation: Colosseum, Rome, Italy

This page brings back some vacation nightmare memories, that now I can laugh at.  I purchased a ticket to see the inside of the Colosseum and after taking three pictures my camera broke :(.  I about threw up because we were not even half way through the European tour.  So after about 20 minutes of looking around the Colosseum I left and was able to find a photography store where I bought a new camera for the rest of the trip.  I went back to the Colosseum and they wouldn’t let me back in because I had left which was disappointing.  Also, when I got back to the States I realized that I couldn’t get a battery for the camera as it was a European battery.

I used black frames on these pages and used a corner cutter to create the frames.  If you want to see what the cut looks like without a picture in it, look at the Title block (sorry for the spelling error!) and you can see the pattern that is cut.  The photo corner then slips in between the cuts and is held in place by the frame – no need to stick the photo to the page.  I also turned the Colosseum entrance ticket into a plastic covered sticker using a Xyron Sticker Maker to protect the page from the acid that we found present in the ticket – see Acid Test Pen.

Europe Vacation: Vatican City, St Peter’s Basilica

Europe Vacation: Vatican City, St Peter's Basilica

Europe Vacation: Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica

After spending a little time in St Peter‘s Square our group was given time to chose what we wanted to do.  We only had three hours and the guide shared that we could choose to either see St Peter’s Basilica or go through the Vatican Museum and see the Sistine Chapel – but there would not be time to do both.

But here is a little travel secret if you go to the Vatican.  I had read on a website before I went that they give special tours of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica and that if you knew a little trick you could save hours standing in line.  The trick is to go to the Vatican Museum and purchase a museum only ticket.  Walk through the museum until you get to the Sistine Chapel (which takes a while as there is no shortcut).  When you enter the Sistine chapel go to the far back right hand corner – you will notice a door in the wall.  Stand by that door until you see a tour guide holding a flag by the door and then mingle with the people who gather there.  The tourists have been told to watch for this.  When the group is together the guide will open the door and you can follow the group through the door and within a couple of steps you will be lead into a side entrance to St Peter’s Basilica!  So – I tried this and it worked!  The funny part of the story was that when I was in the courtyard between the two I realized that I was the only Caucasian in an Asian tour group – but I made it through safely without getting arrested by the Swiss guard.

Now – back to scrapbooking:  You will notice that I actually placed these pages out of chronological order.  I actually went to the Vatican Museum first, and St Peter’s Basilica second, but I wanted the external pictures of St Peters to be followed on the next page by the interior pictures.  I used elegant background paper and gold framing to emphasize the beauty of this spiritual landmark.  I was not allowed to take pictures inside of the Vatican Museum, and you will find this that is often the case in many tourist locations.  I always purchase postcards if this is the case and then work them into my scrapbooks.  Along with the postcard I add my museum ticket and a tourist pack of Vatican coins and stamps.  I had originally bought these for my stamp collection, but thought that they were an interesting ephemera to add to these pages.

Europe Vacation: Vatican City

Europe Vacation: Vatican City

Europe Vacation: Vatican City

While we were in Italy we had opportunity to stop by Vatican City, the headquarters of the Catholic Church and the home of the Pope.  The pope was performing Mass that day, but unfortunately, due to a transit strike in Italy we were late and missed him by about 4 minutes :(.  These pages show several views of St Peter‘s Square which is the front porch to the Vatican.  In order to add some elegance to these pages I framed each photograph and a postcard (can you tell which one it is?).  I used a corner cutter to create the fancy corners and was able to use those to hold the pictures in place.  I also used a corner cutter to add detail to the journaling block.  As I look back on this early page there are now things that I would do differently.  I would not use a sticker to title the page as I feel this cheapens the look.  I would probably cut the title using my Cricut machine.

Digital Crafting – Valentines Day Cards

So have you picked out that special Valentine’s Day card for that special someone yet?

If you have not (or if the one you picked out isn’t all that special), I’ve got a tip for you.

Visit Treat and make a personalized Valentine’s Day card. Like now.

Valentines Day Greeting Cards from Treat

Here are some of their most popular cards for him and her.

For Him
Bee My Love Valentine Cards Plenty of Passion Valentine Cards Sublime Shapes Valentine Cards
For Her
Beloved Beauty Valentine Cards Delicious Dessert Valentine Cards Surrounding Hearts Valentine Cards

Also, if you need cards for your kids’ classroom, check out their sister site, Tiny Prints, for the best classroom Valentines! If you do so by January 30 and use the promo code 20JANSW you can save 20% on your entire order!

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Digital Crafting – Valentines Day Cards for the classroom

Valentine’s Day is almost here!

If you have children in elementary school, you need to check out Tiny Prints’ Classroom Valentines.

Valentines Day Card from Tiny Prints

If you are not familiar with Tiny Prints, these are the best cards you can buy. And you can completely customize with your child’s pictures, your own text, and text and fonts that you choose.

If your kids are too young, too old, or non-existent, Tiny Prints also has great customized photo gifts and Valentine’s Day party invitations, and their sister company, Treat has some aweome personalized greeeting cards.

Here are the most popular cards. If you order by January 30 and use the promo code 20JANSW you can save 20% on your entire order!

Tailored Twinkling Valentines Cards Twinkling Tenderness Valentines Cards Sparkling Splendor Valentines Cards
Construction Area Valentines Cards Heartfelt Speedway Valentines Cards Superhero Skyline Valentines Cards
Love Bug Letters Valentines Cards Filled with Feeling Valentines Cards Tender Tweetheart Valentines Cards


Don’t forget to use the code 20JANSW to save 20% on your entire order!


Europe Trip: Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

Europe Trip: Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

Europe Trip: Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

On these pages commemorating my visit to the Roman Forums in Rome, Italy, I used a new technique to me – but one that has been used for many years by experienced scrapbookers.  Look carefully at the frames on the pictures.  Instead of mounting the pictures directly on to the frame using sticky tabs, I instead used a corner cutter to cut the corners so that they would hold the photograph in place – no sticky tabs needed on the back of the photograph.  This is an excellent technique to use to mount pictures that you do not want to damage with sticky tabs.

Notice that I used a detailed background page on the left hand side, while using a plain color on the right hand side – this helps to keep double page spreads from becoming too busy. Notice also though, that I also used a strip of the left hand side background paper as an accent on the right page in a place where there was some awkward empty space.  This simple design element helps to tie the two pages together.

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