Monthly Archives: October 2015

Europe Vacation 2015: Flight 2

Europe Vacation 2015: Flight 2

This is the second spread that I created to document our flight to Europe.  I know that a plane flight usually doesn’t warrant two full spreads, but I had a lot of things that I wanted to keep. We flew from Chicago to Copenhagen, Denmark where we had a short layover and then continued on to Arlanda, Stockholm, Sweden.

The left hand side of the page has pictures of us landing in Copenhagen, Denmark, the food that we got on the plane (it has been a long time since I have had a flight long enough to be served food without having to get out my credit card), and a picture of Levi sleeping on the plane.  This last picture is placed on top of the “puke bag” from the flight, which has a coffee stirrer from the flight in it.

The left hand page is dominated by a map of Sweden (taken from the flight magazine) and pictures of our passport stamp in Copenhagen and the Air Control tower at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Stockholm


Europe Vacation 2015: Flight

Europe Vacation 2015: Flight

Our trip started on a Saturday afternoon and we drove up to Chicago to catch an overnight flight to Copenhagen, Denmark.   We flew on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and had a pretty good flight.  I attempted to sleep but am not sure that I was too successful at it.  After a short layover in Copenhagen, we flew to Arlanda Airport, one of the airports in Stockholm, Sweden.

If you follow my blog, you know that my style relies heavily on the use of ephemera – items collected during the experience – and you will see several on this page.

TIP: Read this post on “How to organize ephemera on a long trip“.

Maps: I cut the maps out of the airplane magazine and placed two of them on this page.  The square one and the round one.  The square one shows a traditional Mercator Projection, which makes it look like we flew in a large arc.  The round one is a Mollweide projection which tries to capture that the earth is a globe.  From this projection you can see that we pretty much flew a straight line between the two cities.  (Click Here to find out more about Map Projections).  I measured the diameter of the round map and then used my Cricut machine to cut the blue border circle of exactly the correct size.

Tickets and baggage tags:  I placed our tickets and one of the baggage tags on the page and also bordered them in blue to help them stand out on the page.  I like to use ticket stubs on pages because it shows dates and times, and in this case also the routes that we were taking.  In the top left hand corner I used a baggage tag that I picked up from the ticket counter.  I punched a hole in the plastic protector sheet and the page and pushed the elastic through the hold and taped it at the back of the page.  This way it hangs free on the outside of the plastic protector page, and creates a cool effect when the page is opened.

Pictures:  There are three pictures on this page:  1. Selfie of us waiting for the plane taken by my son.  2. The screen at the boarding gate, and 3. a picture of the check-in sign.  I like to take pictures like this as a form of photo journaling that helps remind me of the details of the trip.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Stockholm

Europe Vacation 2015: Title Pages

Europe Vacation 2015: Title Page 1I finally have finished our scrapbooks from our vacation to Europe during June and July 2015.  We spent three weeks and managed to visit 7 countries – Denmark (Just a layover in Copenhagen), Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, France, Liechtenstein, and Austria.

The main purpose of the trip was to spend time with our two former exchange students (Jonathan in Sweden, and Luca in Germany) and a visit with our new exchange student (Henry from Germany).  We spent 24 days on this vacation and I ended up creating 134 pages (65 double spreads and 8 single pages) that filled 4 albums.

Europe Vacation 2015: Title Page 2Since I had 4 albums to create title pages for I wanted to make sure that they were within the same theme, but also paid homage to the particular pages that were within that album. This proved to be difficult as each album had pages of such different areas.

I settled on using the image of the European Union Flag which is 12 yellow stars on a field of blue. After I had settled on this and created the Volume 1 Title page, our current exchange student, Henry, informed me that Switzerland is not a member of the European Union.Europe Vacation 2015: Title Page 3
But unfortunately i had already put the Swiss flag on the page, and decided to leave it.

Volumes 1 and 2 contain pages from our time in Sweden, and so the Volume 2 Title Page has a sticker from Sweden on it. It is convenient that the Swedish colors are blue and yellow, so that color theme is present on the Volume 2 Title Page.

Volumes 3 and 4 contain pages from our time in Germany, and so I used the same visual image, but changed the color scheme Europe Vacation 2015: Title Page 4to the German colors – Black, red and yellow. For Volume 3 I used a “Germany” 3D sticker, and for Volume 4 I used the German Flag.

The lettering on all of the pages was cut on my Cricut machine, and I also used the Cricut Machine and Cricut Design Space to lay out the stars and cut all 4 title pages.  In order to easily duplicate the production process I cut the stars out of the back ground paper and then placed colored paper behind it so the the colors showed through.  This was easier than trying to cut 48 stars and place them in a perfect circle on all four of the pages.

For the Volume 4 Title page I used a paper that had “Germany” written all over it which I think created a nice effect.

2014: Exchange Student Letter

2014: Exchange Student Letter For the last page of the albums  that I created for our exchange student I made a page to hold a letter that I wanted for him to read once he had returned home.

The letter contained personal remarks and sentiments for him, and things that would encourage him once he was back at home.  I put it in an envelope because it is a private letter for him from us, that I did not want other viewers to read.  Because of the way that it is placed on the page, and then within the plastic sheet protector, it is hard to get to to keep curious eyes from taking the time to pry.

I did the same thing for our previous exchange student –> Final Page.  This page, for some reason, is one of the most popular and re-pinned Pinterest pins that I have – See Pin.  My guess is that people like the concept of putting a personal letter in a scrapbook, and are less interested in the design of the page.

Buy The Exchange Student Survival Kit on


2014: Medieval Times

2014: Medieval Times

2014: Medieval Times

Another one of our favorite places to visit in Chicago is Medieval Times.   I have scrapped several of our trips to Medieval Times –>  Medieval Times 2007 – Buena Vista, CAMedieval Times 2008 – Chicago (1), and Medieval Times 2008 – Chicago (2).

So we took the Reichman family to see what all the excitement was about.  We were assigned to cheer for the Black and White Knight which we dutifully did.  Since the arena is dark, it is hard to take pictures inside, and there are not many pictures in this spread.  I decided to focus instead on the ephemera collected at the event.  The back ground paper for the left hand side is the place mat setting that I removed before they started bringing out the food.  The brown paper bag on the right hand page is from the gift store and inside is a napkin from the event.  I also carefully cut Luca’s “Crown” to put on the page as well.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Chicago

2014: Chicago SkyDeck and Ledge

2014: Chicago SkyDeck and Ledge

Another favorite place in Chicago is the Willis Tower Skydeck and Ledge.  So, or course we made sure that the Reichman family got to experience it as well!   TIP: Click on the Chicago City Pass graphic to the right to get discount tickets ahead of time.

I chose a background paper that looks like stamped metal to highlight the steel structure, which is one of the tallest buildings in the world.  The left hand page features the two brochures from the experience, which are affixed to the outside of the plastic protector sheets so that they can be opened by the viewer.  It also has a dog tag that we bought at the top of the tower.  I used a brad to hold the top part of the chain, and used a sticky tab to hold down the tag.

The right hand page has 4 pictures from the experience, and the 4 tickets we had to purchase to get to the top.  Since I printed these pictures in 4×6 size, the stretched from the bottom to the top of the page, which helps to emphasize the height of the building.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Chicago

2014: Blue Man Group

2014: Blue Man Group
Part of what is hard about hosting exchange students is that at the end of the year we have to say goodbye :(.  During the last week that Luca was with us his parents came to visit as well!  This was a treat to meet his family, and while they were here we took a trip to Chicago.  One of our family’s favorite things to do in Chicago is to go to the Blue Man Group (as can be seen by these pages from an earlier trip –> Blue Man Group 2012).

What was fun about this time was that our exchange student got invited to be a part of the show!  The bottom right hand picture shows Luca standing by the piece of art that he “helped” to create during the show.  Notice the blue paint on his face!

You know by now that I love ephemera and this page contains several pieces.  The white strips across both pages are pieces of string confetti used during the show, and the left hand page is covered with the plastic bag from the gift shop (the 3 blue men and the words “Blue Man Group”).  The pictures and the blue thumb print are behind the plastic bag.  The blue thumb print was lifted carefully from Luca’s face after the show and then turned into a sticker using my Xyron Sticker Maker in order to protect the oil based blue paint that takes years to dry!

I bordered the pictures, the ticket and the playbill in blue and rounded all of the corners on the photographs.  The playbill is affixed on the outside of the plastic sheet protector so that it can be opened by the viewer.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Chicago

2014: T-shirt in a scrapbook

2014: T-shirt in a scrapbook
I normally would not create or post a page like the one above, because it actually looks quite boring.  It was set up mostly as an ephemera page at the end of the exchange student year.  However, I think that it has a unique technique that I used to mount a t-shirt square to a scrapbook page.

The background story is that our exchange student received an award t-shirt from the Exchange Student Organization for all the volunteering that he did while he spent the year with us.  Afterwards he handed the t-shirt to me and said “I will never wear this!”.  So I kept it and decided to put it in his scrapbook.

A couple of years ago I worked with my mother to make a t-shirt quilt, so I had all of the tools on hand needed to cut the t-shirt into a perfect 12 inch square.  See this link for a course on how to make a t-shirt quilt –>  The Ultimate T-Shirt Quilt (w/Winnie Fleming)

Since the t-shirt was bright yellow I used the same color for the background pages, and used brads to attach the certificate that he received as well.  I then gently temporarily tacked the square piece of t-shirt to the background page with sticky tabs.  I then used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes through the t-shirt and the background page in the four corners, and then used the same tool to set brads through the holes.

The most difficult part of this page was slipping the page into the plastic protector without rolling the t-shirt back.  I used my Cricut lifting tool to push the t-shirt pieces that rolled while doing this back into a flat position.

The Ultimate T-Shirt Quilt (w/Winnie Fleming)

2014: Luca – Track and Field

2014: Luca - Track and Field

Our exchange student, Luca, lettered in 3 sports during the year that he spent with us. The last sport was Spring Track and Field where he ran some relays and sprints.  This page has a simple design, but a fun technique to use on pages with action.

The right hand page has two columns of pictures, from two different races.  I took a series of photographs using the action feature on my phone, and then selected several that were far enough apart to show the race in progress.  The right hand column was a 200m spring, and the left hand column was the 400m relay.

The left hand page is the team picture, and an individual picture that I bordered in black.  To add some interest to the page I used a gold strip to border the left hand side of the page.  The school colors are blue and gold.

Live Well Sports: Live More Active

2014: Prom

2014: Prom

I apologize for taking a hiatus for a while on posting my pages. It has been an adventurous year, with a job change, and a 3 week trip to Europe (Working on those scrapbooks now!).

But now to the latest page – Prom 2014.  Our exchange student decided to go to prom with a group of guy friends, and they showed up at our house for pictures!  The design of this page is fairly simple – I used silver paper to border the pictures, and used stock “high school prom” paper that I had from a high school themed paper pack.    I had to get the prom ticket on the page, and completed the elegant them with some pearl brads.

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