Category Archives: Christmas

2015: Flight to California

2015: Flight to California

2015: Flight to California

It has been a while since I have posted on this blog. I have been spending most of my creative time actually creating around 150 new pages that I hope to show on here over the next few months.

This spread is of our flight from Chicago to California and back.  the next few pages will show what happened in California in between the two flights!

For this spread I used photographs from the two flights as well as the ticket stubs and baggage tags.  We flew on Spirit Airlines, whose color is yellow, so I made the paper airplane cutout on my cricut and chose yellow accents to emphasize the airline colors.  The photographs are also bordered in yellow.  I love using this cloud background paper for airline or flight spreads as it helps the page to fell airy and light.

I like to use ephemera such as the tickets in my scrapbooking because it is a subtle way to show the dates that things happened.


2013: Christmas

2013: Christmas

2013: Christmas

This page is an example of celebrating a theme rather than an event. I wanted to have a page that showed the Christmas traditions that we celebrated together.

However, since we were traveling to California for Christmas I did not want to pay for extra luggage to go all the way to California and then back again.  So we opened gifts from Luca’s parents while we were still at our home, and then actually celebrated Christmas with stockings once we were in California.  We did not have a big present opening on Christmas day as our trip was the Christmas gift to each other.  We gave each other small gifts in the stockings.

So the pictures on this page on not in chronological order, but rather a theme of gifts and activities.

If you follow my blog, you will know that I enjoy incorporating ephemera on my pages.  The Christmas ornament and the reindeer came off of gifts that were for Luca and so I made sure that they made it onto the page.

I used vintage Christmas themed background paper which is pretty busy, so I bordered the photographs in a solid green border paper so that they would stand out on the busy background paper.

2013: Beginning Of Our Christmas Adventure

2013: Beginning Of Our Christmas Adventure

2013: Beginning Of Our Christmas Adventure

Soon after school was over we started our Christmas adventure to California.  The next few days will share pages from our Christmas vacation that turned into a wild ride adventure before we got home.

As I was planning our trip to California I realized that it would be cheaper to fly into San Diego rather than into Los Angeles.  Since we wanted to visit people in both locations I decided that we would go to San Diego first.  We wanted to be with family in LA for Christmas, and ebcause we were flying into San Diego on the 23rd of December, I decided that we would have a slow start to our trip and stay at Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn and Suites in San Diego, and then make the drive to LA on Christmas Eve.

The left hand page has pictures from Humphrey’s and the airplane tickets for Luca from Indianapolis to San Diego.  The right hand page shares the story of our Christmas Eve morning breakfast at a favorite restaurant of ours when we lived in San Diego – Shades – which is on the ocean front in Ocean Beach.

As we were celebrating the Christmas season in sunny California, I thought it was fitting to theme the pages in green and blue to remind us of the wonderful weather that we were having there.


Book Sightseeing Tours, Day trips, Activities and Things to do with

2008: Christmas Treasure Hunt

2008: Christmas Treasure Hunt

2008: Christmas Treasure Hunt

This is a page that I debated showing on this blog.  The reason is that I do not really like how it turned out.  I like the concept but I think that I did not choose the right background paper.  I am a little strange in that even if I don’t like the way something turned out – I usually do not go back and redo it – mostly because I always have new pages to do.

The story behind this spread is that I bought a Red Rider BB gun for my son for Christmas.  I had planned this out ahead of time and our family watched “The Christmas Story” the night before so that we could warn him that “you will shoot your eye out!”

He had been asking for this gift for a long time and I knew that he would recognize the box and know that he was getting this gift.  So I wrapped it up and put it under his bed the day before because I knew he would not look there.  Then I made a riddle trail for him to follow to find his gift.  These pictures are all one step along the path to finding his gift.

I used a Creative Memories Circle cutter to cut the pictures into circles and a slightly larger one to cut the border circles which I brushed lightly with gold paint. I offset the pictures within the borders to add some interest and movement to the page.  I used a hole punch to punch the holes in the borders and then thread the ribbon though the border holes to show the path that he had to take to find his gift.

2008: Christmas Dinner

2008: Christmas Dinner

2008: Christmas Dinner

There are many stories behind this spread of our Christmas Dinner in 2008.

Story 1: If you look carefully at the wallpaper in the background who will notice that it is “old lady” roses.  When we bought the house I knew that I would need to change out the wallpaper.  Not only was it roses – but it was also metallic – which is why I picked the background paper that I did for this spread – metallic and flowery 🙂 . I will share that that awful wallpaper is no longer there – thanks to my mom and dad who helped to strip it all.

Story 2: The tags that you see on the spread are the actual tags that I made for gifts around our tree.  Instead of names I just used the first letter of people’s names.  In our extended family (not anyone present at this Christmas) there is a tradition of people trying to snoop to figure our their gifts – so a counter tradition was started to try and label the gifts in ways so that only the giver knew what the tags meant so that people could not snoop.  When I went back to scrapbook this page I realized that I had left over paper from the letters on the tags – so I used that paper to create the borders for the photographs.

Story 3: Our family grew up in South Africa which has a culture heavily influenced by the British culture.  Therefore we always try to have Christmas “Crackers” to pull before Christmas meal – you can see them in the top picture on the left hand side if you look carefully.  The “crackers” always have a prize and a hat to wear during the meal.  I took the picture at the bottom of the right hand page of my aunt and I thought that she looked like the Queen of England – so I knew I had to put that in the scrapbook.  I am sure that she won’t be too pleased that I am sharing this picture with the world! :).

2008: Christmas

2008: Christmas

2008: Christmas

2008 was the first year that we owned a home and could host the extended family for Christmas so we were very excited. Several of the gifts at this Christmas were wrapped in the burgundy ribbon that you see on this page.  I wanted to incorporate the ribbon into the page so I tried several new techniques for me.

The first of which was to border the right and left sides of the spread with the ribbon.  I did this by using a punch to put holes along the edge of the paper and then to thread the ribbon through the holes.  To hold the ribbon in place I taped the end of the ribbon to the back of the background paper.

The second technique was to border the pictures on the pages in the same manner.  If you look carefully at the pictures on the right hand page you will notice that I used the punch and thread technique in very much the same way as the page borders, except that I carried this technique on around the whole picture.  In one of the corners I then tied the ends of the ribbon together into a bow.

The third technique – which is much more difficult was to border the pictures on the left hand page in a different way.  If you zoom in on the picture above you will see that the ribbon actually goes through the holes in the picture and out and folder over the corner of the picture and then is brought back through the hole to the front side.  It was very difficult to get all four corners to work at the same time before I tied the bow on these pictures – but I like the way that it turned out.

The “Merry Christmas” tag and the titling for the page were cut out using my Cricut machine.  The larger bow on the right hand side was created by punching two holes closely together and then running the ribbon through the holes to tie the bow.

2007: Grandma kissing Santa Claus

2007: Grandma kissing Santa Claus

2007: Grandma kissing Santa Claus

160 x 600I have taken a several month detour to share the scrapbooks from our year with our exchange student, but now I am going to return to our regularly scheduled programming of the first few years with my adopted son. We will pick back on up Christmas Eve of our first Christmas together:

I had purchased a Santa Claus outfit on Ebay and asked my father to wear it on Christmas Eve to hang up the stockings.  We were staying at my Aunts House and my son and I were sleeping in the living room in a pull out bed.  Once my son had fallen asleep my father came into the room to hand the stockings up and my son woke up.  He started shaking me to wake me up and he whispered “Santa is here” – it was the cutest thing.  My dad kept putting presents around and my son was watching from under the covers.

My mother came into the room and I was able to capture her kissing my dad – my son got upset that grandma was kissing Santa Claus and thought that Grandpa would be mad!  It took a little while and then he realized that Santa was actually Grandpa!


Spend your Christmas Vacation at Disney


2007: Our First Christmas

2007: Our First Christmas

2007: Our First Christmas

This is the front spread to our First Christmas pages. The other pages are pages that I am not going to show on this blog (Sorry, but they are kind of personal, and I am not really excited about how they turned out).

What I wanted to highlight on this page was the snow flakes and the Title on the left hand page.  I was trying to decide what to do with our Christmas cards from our first Christmas together – and I decided to cut the snow flakes and the Title out of them using my Cricut machine.  This actually took quite a bit of work to coordinate all of the cards so that the letters came out correctly – but it was a fun way to use the cards and to not just throw them away.

The right hand page is a picture of my Aunt’s Christmas tree, where we spent our first Christmas together.  My parents flew out to California, and met my son for the first time, which was exciting for all of us.

2007: Christmas – Coronado and our First Tree

2007: Christmas - Coronado and our First Tree

2007: Christmas – Coronado and our First Tree

I know that it is in the middle of the summer, but this is where I am in going through my scrapbooks! So – we are nearly at half-Christmas so I think that this is perfectly acceptable to blog about now :).

This spread chronicles the beginning of our first Christmas together.  On the left hand side is ice skating at the Hotel Del in Coronado, CA.  I love these pictures because of the palm trees and the ocean in the background.  As usual we arrived half an hour before the skating rink opened, so we were the first people on the ice which lasted about 15 minutes, before it packed out and was difficult to skate.  I particularly enjoy the picture of my son following the little girl in the red skating dress.  The snow flakes and the title on this page were cut with my Cricut machine.  I purchased the the line drawing art of the Hotel Del on

The story that ties these two pages together is that I bought a Coronado Christmas ornament in the gift shop at the Hotel Del, and that ornament immediately went on to our new Christmas tree, which you can see on the right hand side.  Up until this point I had never decorated a Christmas tree for myself as I was always spending Christmas at another family members home.  So, because I had a new young boy in the home I knew that I had to do it up right.  And therefore I spent about $1500 getting a perfect artificial tree (I am allergic to live ones) with all the trimmings, complete with a train set running around the bottom.   The background page was a pre-printed page that I really liked and didn’t do too much else to the spread.

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