Monthly Archives: April 2013

Washington DC 2012: Arlington National Cemetery – JFK Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Washington DC 2012: Arlington National Cemetery - JFK Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Washington DC 2012: Arlington National Cemetery – JFK Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Washington DC Tours
After stopping at the Pentagon, we traveled further south on the MetroRail to Arlington National Cemetery.

Visitor Tip: While you can walk freely around the Cemetery, you cannot drive onto the grounds.  And they are steep.  Consider purchasing tickets for a hop on hop off trolley tour through the grounds.  It will save you time and your legs.  You can purchase tickets HERE.

On the Tour we saw the grave of John F Kennedy and the eternal flame.  We also visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the changing of the guard.  This is a must do event if you are at the cemetery.

Notice that I have bordered all of the pictures in black to bring a sense of seriousness and solemnity to the page.  The three uniforms on the bottom of the right hand page are part of the Jolee’s military series.  The stickers above the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier picture were purchased at the gift shop on the property.

The map of the cemetery was too big to affix to the page, and the back has too much important information to stick it down.  I opted for building a pocket into the page for the map to slide into, so that the reader to take it out to view it.


Washington DC 2012: Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

The third day of our vacation started with a Metro trip to the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery.   We wanted to stop and visit the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.  If I had planned a little better we could have had a tour inside the Pentagon, but, like the White House, you have to request tickets for this way in advance.  (You can do that HERE).

The Metro station for the Pentagon is on the opposite side of the Pentagon from the 9/11 Memorial – so be be prepared for a long walk if you are taking the Metro.

I wanted this page to be solemn and somber to reflect the time that we spent at the memorial.  The left hand page is plain black with the date of our visit cut with my Cricut machine.  I put a plan in the top corner to evoke the remembrance of the terror of the day.

Each of the pictures on the right hand page are bordered in black to emphasize the solemnity of the memorial.  It is hard to see in this picture, but you can see which parts of the Pentagon have been rebuilt and repaired, because they couldn’t get the same matching color marble as when the building was originally built.

Washington DC Tours

Washington DC 2012: National Archives

Washington DC 2012: National Archives

Washington DC 2012: National Archives

Washington DC Tours

After visiting the Smithsonian Museums we decided to take a quick walk by the National Archives and we realized that the line to get in was not too long, so we decided to go in.  The National Archives most famously houses the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and a one of the original copies of the Magna Carta.  While this was a a solemn and powerful experience, I will admit that many of the documents are so faded now, that they are almost impossible to read in the light provided.  While this was a little disappointing, it did highlight the fragility of man and man made documents and ideals.

Understandably, they do not allow any pictures to be taken inside to protect the integrity of these very old documents.  I was only able to take a couple of pictures of the outside of the building.  So I made the ephemera from the Archives gift shop the main focus of the page.

The left hand page has part of a facsimile of the Constitution.  I then overlaid the clear plastic bag from the National Archives gift shop over the top of it to act as the Title for the page.  I used a punch to cut holes in the four corners of the page, and used brads to hold the plastic in place over the Constitution.  I really like the way that this turned out.  It is difficult to tell in this picture – but the words on the plastic really appear to float over the facsimile.

On the right hand page I put the pictures that I took of the Archives along with a Thomas Jefferson cutout (he is holding the Declaration of Independence), a patch from the Archives gift shop, and the brochure to the National Archives Experience (which is affixed to the outside of the plastic sheet protector so that the reader can open it to view).

Washington DC 2012: National Air and Space Museum

Washington DC 2012: Air and Space Museum

Washington DC 2012: Air and Space Museum

Washington DC Tours
After our short visit to the Smithsonian Castle we headed towards the National Air and Space Museum.  Online guides suggested that getting their early is the best option to beat the crowds and they were correct.  It was crowded for the first hour and got even worse after that.  Apparently it is one of the most popular Museums on the mall.

The Museum is a mix of history, the present, and even some hints at the future.  So, I decided that I would divide the spread this way – on the left hand side is the 1903 Wright Flyer representing the beginning of flight.  And on the right hand side is a reference to NASA and space flight.  I tied the two together with the horizontal bar that runs across both pages.  On the left hand side it is a piece of wood veneer, and on the right hand side it is a silver piece of cardboard.

The map to the Museum slides behind the piece of wood veneer into a secret pocket so that it can be removed and viewed by the reader.  The postcard of the planets is one of those pictures that changes images as you move it, so I think that is why it did not show up very well in this picture.  I also included our tickets to an IMAX show, a token from the Museum, and a NASA patch purchased in the Museum gift shop.

Washington DC 2012: Smithsonian

Washington DC 2012: Smithsonian

Washington DC 2012: Smithsonian

Washington DC Tours
On the second day of our vacation in Washington DC, we headed out on our own to visit the Smithsonian Museums.  We started at the Smithsonian Castle, which is the original Smithsonian Museum.  It now houses the headquarters of the Smithsonian, as well as an eclectic collection of items that represent all of the different Smithsonian Museums.  It is a great place to start a Smithsonian Day, especially since it opens a little earlier than the other museums.

If you are wondering why the top left picture is crooked, it was not done on purpose.  The background paper I used is a little waxy and the sticky tabs I used are not working well on it – after I took this picture I realized that it had come loose and was crooked.  I decided to post it this way to have opportunity to discuss the importance of using the correct adhesive method to make sure that your items are properly affixed.

The bottom picture of the Smithsonian Castle is actually a card that can be opened to see a picture of my son and father.  Next to that card are two Smithsonian tokens that I purchased at the castle.

The right hand page has a picture of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and a brochure from the National Museum of the American Indian.  While these are not in chronological order from our day, they fit in well with this spread.  We actually ate lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian as several guidebooks reported that they have the best food in the area.  While we agree with this assessment and had some wonderful American Indian food, be aware that it is very pricey (Around $30 per person to have a full meal).  The brochure is mounted on the outside of the plastic protector so that the reader can open it to examine it further.  The tan border around he brochure is actually mounted to the background paper underneath the plastic protector.  I chose the tan background border color to match the card on the left hand page.

Something fun to highlight about this spread is the date that runs down the left hand side of the spread.  It was actually cut using my cricut machine from behind the brochure.  I then used the shadow effect using the same border paper to make the date stand out.

Mothers Day: Make a Digital Scrapbook

With Mother’s Day coming up soon, I have been thinking about creative gifts that we can give to our Mothers. In the past I have given Digital scrapbooks to my mother to remember special occasions that we have had together.   What about using the Blurb Designer Instant book template to make a professional quality photo book filled with memories for mom. Instant Books are easy to create, take about an hour, and start at just $12.99. This is definitely a present she will leave on the coffee table for everyone to see each and every day! Start creating your Blurb Designer Instant Book today and save 20% with promo code LOVEYOUMOM valid through 5/10/13!


Washington DC 2012: China Town

Washington DC 2012: China Town

Washington DC 2012: China Town

Washington DC Tours
This page celebrates our last stop on the tour, and is quite an eclectic page.  There are times when theme for several items does just not make sense and this is the case for this page.

After the tour was over our guide asked us what our plans for supper were and we mentioned that we wanted to go to China Town and asked what restaurant he would suggest.  Wonderfully he offered to walk with us to his favorite place which he did.  On the way he showed us some historical markers of interest which I have showcased on the left hand page – the site of the first Telegraph Office in the United States, and the Surratt Boarding House, which is where some conspirators plotted the abduction in Abraham Lincoln.  The ornamental design in the background I cut with my Cricut machine using the “Ornamental Iron 2” cartridge.

The right hand page includes the menu from the Chinatown Express, where we ate, and some pictures from the front of the store.  You will notice that I put two pictures together  to be able to show all that was occurring.  Because the window was small I could get the whole scene in one shot.  I often will do something like this to create a panoramic effect, and I think that it looks cool.  You will also see that I included all of our fortunes from our Fortune cookies 🙂

If you look closely you will notice that I have a small black cutout of an umbrella – which doesn’t make much sense to this page.  It represents a family joke of something that happened that is a family secret and somewhat funny to us now.  🙂  Don’t be afraid to put things like this in your memory pages as they will invoke smiles from those who know the inside story.

Washington DC 2012: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Vietnam War Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Washington DC Tours
The next stop on our tour was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  This stop was an emotional one for our family as one of my father’s childhood friends, and brother to one of my aunts is memorialized on the wall.  This was my fathers first visit to the wall. and I was able to take a picture of him near the name and a close up of the name engraved in the wall.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Tips: If you know someone named on the wall, look first at the location books at the edges of the memorial – they will help you locate the name quickly.  Also – don’t forget to take paper and a pencil or crayon if you wish to take a rubbing of the name on the memorial.  We forgot to do this and we were saddened by this.  I discovered later though, when visiting the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall that you can request a free rubbing from

I wanted this page to be simple and respectful so I used a solid green background and I made the replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial by hand to add to the page.  On the left hand page are two statues that are part of the memorial.  The left most one is the Women’s Vietnam Memorial to pay tribute to the women who served in the Vietnam War, many of whom where nurses.  The next photograph is the “Three Soldiers Statue“.

On the right hand page are pictures of my father and his friends name engraved on the memorial.  I also included a photograph of the reflecting nature of the wall, for which this memorial is well known.  And, of course, another stamp from the Washington DC collection.

Washington DC 2012: Korean War Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Korean War Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Korean War Memorial

Washington DC ToursThe next stop on our tour was the Korean War Memorial.  This memorial is striking as it has multiple haunting statues and a marble walls with photographs from the war etched into it.  Part of the memorial included the phrase “Freedom is not Free”, but the picture of it that I took did not turn out.

My son had picked up bark off of the ground near this memorial that he wanted me to put in the scrapbook.  And to appease him I packed it, but wasn’t planning on using it.  When I realized that my picture had not turned out I decided to use the bark and write the phrase on some pieces of it.  I mounted the bark by using thick sticky tabs to pull them off of the page a bit.  This was necessary so that they would not crack it we tried to glue them down flat.

Also notice the pinwheel placement of the photographs on the left hand page.  This is a new design that I used and I think that I will use it in some future pages as well.  On this page I chose not to add too much special detail, cropping, or embellishments because I wanted the page to reflect the solemnity of the memorial.

Washington DC 2012: Lincoln Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Lincoln Memorial

Washington DC 2012: Lincoln Memorial

Washington DC Tours
The next stop on our tour was the Lincoln Memorial.  Again, this was another site where we were thankful to have a tour guide.  He explained the history of the building, explained the statue, and showed us some mistakes in the building, which I found very interesting.

On this page I used several pictures of the same item (the statue) and then placed them on the page in order so that you get a sense of movement around the statue on the page.  The left bottom picture on the right hand page is a little hard to read in this photograph, but it is a picture of the marker where Martin Luther King, Jr gave the “I have a Dream” speech.

You will also notice that I included a patch from the location, as well as another stamp from the collection.  I also did not corner cut any of the photos as I wanted the stark bleak lines to mimic the architecture of the Memorial.

%d bloggers like this: