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Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy – Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) and the Ponte Di Rialto

Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy - Bridge of Sighs and Ponte di Rialto

Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy – Bridge of Sighs and Ponte di Rialto

I had a lot of fun with this page.  Venice was my favorite place on the trip and I wanted to remember all of the wonderful parts of it.  This spread celebrates two famous bridges in Venice.

On the left hand side is Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs.  This bridge went between the prison and the the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and many people could be heard weeping as they went from the court rooms to the prison.  I was able to walk over the bridge myself and so included pictures from the outside of the bridge and what it looked like from inside the bridge.

The right hand side is the Ponte Di Rialto, a very luxurious bridge made of marble that has many expensive gold and jewelry shops built right onto it.  Again I used photos of the bridge combined with photos taken from the bridge together on the same page.  The color theme for these pages came from the opulent stores on the Ponte Di Rialto and the amazing works of art in the Musei Civici Veneziani – the museum that is housed in the Palazzo Ducale.

Venice is also famous for its Masquerade balls and masks and so I had to make sure some masks made it onto this page. You will also notice that I again used slivers of the background pages to serve as end borders for the opposite pages to help tie them together.

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Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy – St Mark’s Square

Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy - St Mark's Square

Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy – St Mark’s Square

I had a lot of fun with this spread of St. Mark’s Square, also known as Piazza San Marco, in Venice, Italy.  Amazingly, even with all of the tourists it was a very peaceful place.I spent two hours in the square feeding the birds and bathing in the serenity of the place.

I loved photographing St Mark’s Campanile, the bell tower, and wanted to display multiple views.  You will notice that I cut one of the photographs to parallel the angle of the steeple, and then did the same with the border.  This simple design element emphasizes the architecture of the tower.

I kept my bird seed packet as ephemera and knew that I wanted it on the page.  I had the worst time trying to cut pieces of birdseed that looked realistic and was a little frustrated.  What I ended up doing was using a “heart shaped punch” (see below for more details) to cut out yellow heart shapes and then cut them in half at the cleave mark.  It took about 2 minutes to make enough bird seed for the page – and then came the joy of gluing them down one at a time!

Also notice that I used a sliver from each background page to serve as an edge border for the other page in order to unify the two pages in the spread. The borders of the right hand page photographs are the same as the background page on the left.


Fiskars Hand Punch – 1/4″ Heart – $6.89

Fiskars Hand Punches are perfect for almost any crafting project since they can be used to punch through most crafting materials. They feature soft, comfort-molded handles. The extended handle length makes it easier to hold and control. Create decorative borders that are perfect for stationery, scrapbooks, card making and much more – a quick and easy way to embellish paper crafting projects. The built in confetti catcher keeps scraps from making a mess and holds punches for future use.

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Europe Vacation: Venice, Italy – Gondolas

Europe Vacation: Venice - Gondolas

Europe Vacation: Venice – Gondolas

We took another overnight ferry from Corfu to Venice, Italy.  Once we arrived we took a traditional Gondola ride.  What wasn’t traditional was that our gondolier refused to sing for us!  I thought that was expected so I had to sing for the group 🙂 !  Our gondolier also had two accidents on our trip – so it was quite an adventure.

The theme of this spread is twofold.  The first is that it is all on water and so I used a water background for both pages.  The other is more subtle.  A gondoliers traditional uniform is the blue and white striped shirt – so I bordered each photograph with a white border to hint at the theme.  I used a corner cutter to round both the photograph and the white border.

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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: 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

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.

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.

Europe Trip: Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Europe Trip: Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Europe Trip: Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Two more places in Rome that I was fortunate to visit where the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.  On the Left hand side I again used a postcard instead of a photograph as it was very difficult to get a wide angle shot in this location.  The right hand side features the Pantheon.  This was one of the disappointments of my trip.  When we got there they were closing the doors for a private function and we were not able to go in.  I managed to snap this one picture as the doors were shutting.  I decided to make this part of the scrapbook instead of leaving it out.  The rightmost picture of the Pantheon at night is also a postcard.  My mantra has been that if the event is messed up or if you mess your pictures up – make the most of it and I find that when I look at these later it usually brings a smile to my face, rather than the disappointment of the moment.

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