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.
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.
The next step of our Summer 2009 vacation was to visit Holiday World in Southern Indiana. While this park is older it is truly a hidden gem – besides having several number 1 rated roller coasters and water rides, they have free parking, free suntan lotion, and free unlimited soda. We love this park and have been there several times.
On the first day we arrived at the park early, which if you have been following me for a while, you know is a strategy of mine when visiting events and attractions. We saw Pat Koch, the matriarch of the owner family, sweeping up trash outside the gates to the park! She let us take a picture with her – we felt like we had just met Walt Disney!
The park is divided into “Holiday zones” with each area themed as a unique holiday. Holiday world is located in Santa Claus, Indiana, so naturally the original theme of the park is Christmas! – which is refreshing in the heat of Indiana summers.
These two pages showcases the themes of Christmas and Thanksgiving. I used an ornate corner cutter to corner cut the pictures and the picture borders. Since the two pages look so different in color scheme I felt that this was important to bring the two pages together.
My son got two gifts that he was very excited about during 2008. He got a pair of ice skates from me for his birthday – but couldn’t use those until our pond froze at Christmas time – and a bowling ball from my parents at Christmas.
This spread celebrates the first use of both of these sports equipment. The left hand page shares the Ice Skates and the right hand side the bowling ball. It was difficult to figure out how to tie these two spreads together, but I didn’t have enough pictures or ephemera to make a full spread for either one.
I started the spread by selecting the black hockey page for the left hand side and then complemented that with the flame page for the bowling side. For some reason the flames reminded me of designs I had seen in bowling alleys from the 80s and 90s, and it reminded me of some bowling shirts that I saw at that time as well.
On the right hand page I used a pair of sharp nosed scissors to carefully cut out some of the flames so that they could overlap the photographs. I also hand painted the bowling ball in the top right hand corner to emulate the color scheme on the bowling ball that my son received from my parents for Christmas. I started with blue paper to do this so that I could layer the other colors on top of it.
To help tie in the left hand page I tore paper to serve as a border for the journalling. The paper colors come from the dominant colors on the right hand page.
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 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.
People love getting really creative, one-of-a-kind books for Christmas. Books that elicit a “where did you find this?” response. As the leading indie- and self-publishing platform, Blurb has an entire online bookstore full of unique books by an incredible array of undiscovered, self-published authors, artists, and photographers. And while these books probably aren’t in your recipient’s bookshelf, many of them should be. So, if you’re thinking of giving unique gifts this year, consider these titles. Each costs around $40 USD or less:
Cookie Cravings by Maria Lichty and Heidi Larsen
We all have cookie cravings. Popular food blogger Maria Lichter decided to put them into something deliciously original: A baking book featuring 30 recipes you won’t find anywhere else.
Dog by My Side by Adam Schnitzer
This charming collection of original, vintage photos shows us that as long as there have been cameras, we’ve wanted to photograph our canine best friends. As a special bonus, there’s a glossary of the early photographic methods used in the original images.
Around the World with a Toy Camera by Giorgio Giussani
Perfect for the photography or graffiti-art fan on your list. This book is an explosion of gritty color that explores the wonders of street art and analog photography.
Food Stories by Elena Scott
A short, wonderfully illustrated collection of recipes (and food stories) that will inspire you to pick up the knife and spatula—or just pen and paper.
Things I Love by Carol Nehls and Jessica Rose
Illustrated and written many years apart by a mother and daughter, this sweet rhyming story told by a fox is pure joy for all ages.
Patent Pending by Jordan Natyshen
Chicken goggles, air-conditioned rocking chairs, monkey jockeys for greyhounds… humankind has invented and sought to patent some amazing and crazy things. Illustrator Jordan Natyshen illustrates some of the strangest in this history of odd inventions.
Tiny Horses are Everywhere by Thea Lux
The perfect stocking-stuffer for fans of off-beat humor, this undeniably nutty book is based on a Tumblr blog and combines simple photo collages of small horses in human environments with incredibly funny captions.
Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias
What can you do with an empty roll of toilet paper? If you’re French artist Anastassia Elias, you create tiny dioramas inside of the discarded tubes. Inspired by art and movies, these pieces are beautifully crafted, fun, and unbelievably detailed.
Low Fidelity by Bobby Grossman
If you, or someone you love, listened to New York punk and new wave in the 70s, chances are your favorite artist can be found in this book. Bobby Grossman photographed Iggy Pop, David Byrne, The Ramones, Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol and many more. This book is a time capsule of—and a love letter to—a legendary time, place, and sound.
Take a second and head over to Blurb to see if you can end your search for that perfect gift this season!
I 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!
- The Sun, Editorial in 1897, Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus! (duckatdickens.wordpress.com)
- Christmas Around the World – Indonesia’s Celebrations (festivefair.wordpress.com)