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Aruba Vacation 2009: Fountains and Final Page

Aruba Vacation 2009: Fountains and Map

Aruba Vacation 2009: Fountains and Map

Aruba Vacation 2009: Map - Open

Aruba Vacation 2009: Map – Open

Our last night in Aruba we went down to the tourist shopping mall where they have some musical fountains at night.  This is a relaxing must do if you are spending time on the island.

This is the last page in our Aruba album, and the design element that I want to point out is that I mounted a map of Aruba on the back cover as well as a CD of all of the pictures that I took on the trip.  I usually do this so that I have a backup of the pictures from my trip with the album, in case something ever happens to my computer where they are stored.

So – This is farewell to Aruba!  But don’t worry – Tomorrow we start looking at the scrapbook from our Cruise to Canada!

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Aruba Vacation 2009: Currency – The Aruban Florin

Aruba Vacation 2009: Currency

Aruba Vacation 2009: Currency

Ephemera Tip: I think that one of the best things to collect as ephemera on a trip is foreign currency: Each country I go to I try and collect two of each of the coins and some paper money – usually the lowest denominations.  Currency is wonderful to collect because it is art, history and a souvenir all built into one!  I usually find a bank and ask for specific change and ask for crisp notes.  I tell them I am using them for a collection and the tellers have always been happy to oblige.

If you look carefully at this page you can see that I have placed the Florin current and coins into plastic pockets so that I don’t have to glue the notes and coins down.  The plastic pockets come with adhesive on the back so that they will stick to your pages without glue or stickers showing.    The left hand page, with the paper currency, actually is from a currency collector album that is three ring punched.  I used the star fish brads to cover the three holes and hold the page in place.  The fish brad on the right hand side of the notes holds the plastic folder in place.  I can pull this page out and then flip the plastic pockets to be able to see the other side of the notes.

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Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Royal Table - 1

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table – 1

Disney Tip: Pay Attention to the Event Descriptions when making a bookingWhen I was booking the character meals I didn’t pay close enough attention to detail – I thought I was booking a pirate and princess luncheon – which Disney does have by the way – but, by mistake, I booked us for Cinderella’s Royal Table :). This was really an event for moms and daughters – not dads and sons – but Disney was graceful about it and had some male activities during the time.

So – this page isn’t very masculine either – I had to make the best of a very pink and feminine event!  If you look to the spread above you will notice that there is a large folder on the left hand page.  It is actually a picture folder, and if you look below you can see what it looks like open.  On the right hand page, bottom left, you will notice an invitation from Cinderella.  This was actually on the back of the picture folder and I carefully removed the photograph, cut it out, and then put the photograph back in place so that you can’t tell this was done.  I also included the autograph that my son got from Cinderella while at the meal.

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Royal Table - 2

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table – 2

In this view you can see what the folder looks like open.  I carefully cut a slit in the plastic page protector for the folder to slide through so that the picture of us with Cinderella is still under plastic.  I did this by:

  1. Placing the background paper inside the plastic protector
  2. Placing the picture folder on top of the plastic protector where I wanted it to be
  3. Sliding the picture folder to the right about 1/4 of an inch, so that the fold of the picture folder would overlap the plastic a little on the left side.  This keeps the plastic protector from tearing when people are viewing the page.
  4. Using an Exacto knife to carefully score the plastic.
  5. Using a pair of sharp pointed scissors to carefully cut along the scored line.
  6. Putting sticky tabs on the back of the picture folder and sliding it through the cut in the plastic and then pushing down on the plastic and picture folder to secure it in place.
Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Royal Table - 3

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table – 3

Above are pages commemorating the meal and the event.  Since we were men, my son was given a sword rather than a fairy wand for use during the themed meal.  If you have a young son you will understand why the sword was broken before the end of the day!  However this worked out great for the page since I was able to use the sword blade on the page (secured with a ton of glue!)

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Royal Table - Princesses

Disney Vacation 2008: Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table – Princesses

Disney Tip: Event Meal always include character visits  – which means you can kill two birds with one stone – you get a great meal and your kids get to meet the characters (without standing in long lines) and get their autographs.  I thought that my son would hate this part, but as you can see from the expressions on his face I think he really enjoyed all the attention from these beautiful ladies 🙂 .  When we got home I carefully cut all of the signatures out of the Disney autograph book and placed them along with the appropriate pictures and stickers on this page.  Notice the detailed corner punch that I used for the borders.

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Disney Vacation 2008: Fantasyland

Disney Vacation 2008: Fantasyland

Disney Vacation 2008: Fantasyland

We got up super early on this day to take advantage of the Disney guest early open hours. But when we walked outside it was raining! I was disappointed but decided to go anyway, and it really paid off! Since it was raining we were able to ride most of the rides in Fantasyland fairly quickly.  If you have been there before you know that many rides in Fantasyland can have the longest lines in the park!

Disney Tip: Fantasyland – Ride the rides in Fantasyland at night – by then most kids are tired and tired parents have taken them back to the hotels.
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I was trying to figure out how to showcase six different rides from this part of the park all on the same spread when I can up with the idea of using just single pictures from each event.  I was fortunate enough to be able to find 3-D stickers for each of the rides to use, and I found “Its a small world” paper to tie the rides together.  You will notice that I placed the stickers right over the photographs.  Be careful if you do this as you will not have opportunity to reposition them if you make a mistake.  This is usually true with most stickers, but when putting them on top of photographs it is doubly true.

Did you notice my son’s score on the Buzz Light year ride?  He maxed out the scoreboard – I didn’t even know that was possible and thought it was just broken.  But – when we got home I found out that it is possible to do this.  Disney Tip: How to get the High Score on Buzz Light Yearcan be found by clicking here.

Disney Tip: Sword in the Stone – Make sure your kids try to pull out the swordThere is a cast member nearby who using a remote control allows some guests to actually move the sword.  For others it wont move at all.  I have noticed that if the dads try first, then young children miraculously can do it after their big strong dads can’t!

Disney Vacation 2008: Animal Kingdom – Character Autographs

Disney Vacation 2008: Animal Kingdom - autographs

Disney Vacation 2008: Animal Kingdom – autographs

Disney Tip: Character Autographsif you have small children a wonderful way to expand your experience, collect ephemera, and get some rest – is to purchase a character autograph book and stop at all of the character locations.  I found that my 9 year old son was just as excited about standing in line to collect an autograph as he was to stand in line for a ride.  It gave me a chance to slow down, and when we returned home I realized that I had some wonderful ephemera.

I used an Exacto knife to carefully cut the pages at the seam of the autograph book and then trimmed them using a paper cutter.  Notice on this page that I framed the autographs with the same frame I used for the pictures, cut with a specialized corner cutter.

In the top left hand corner is a photograph of a sign that I hand cut with sharp point scissors to create the title block for this page.  You will also notice in the right bottom corner of the left page a copper coin that says “Animal Kingdom” – this was from the souvenir store at the Disney Hotel and was part of a set of all of the park.  You will see more of these on future pages.

The background papers are from the Disney Scrapbook paper pack that I bought at the hotel souvenier store – I have not been able to find these anywhere else – so buy them while you are in the park.

Disney Vacation 2008: Flight to Orlando, FL

Disney Vacation 2008: Flight to Orlando, FL

Disney Vacation 2008: Flight to Orlando, FL

I usually do not scrapbook the flight to a vacation, but this was my son’s first long distance flight and he was very nervous about it.  I knew that these pages would help him to feel better about flights that we would take in the future.  I made the date “bone” with the Cricut Disney Cartridge, and I used this cartridge multiple times within this album.

If you look carefully at the white “cloud” in the middle of the right hand page you will notice a short journal entry explaining the pages.  My aunt and mother, who are also scrapbookers, believe strongly that every page should have some journaling to explain what is on the page.  While I don’t agree that you have to journal on every page, there are many times when I think that it is important to do some writing to jog the memories, or to explain things to people who were not on the trip.  One of the reasons that I don’t like to journal very much is that my handwriting is terrible.  I have found a great solution though – print the journaling using a laser printer and scrapbook paper.  For this Disney album I was able to download a free font from that looks just like the Disney font – Waltograph Font Family and then print all of my journaling using that font. ( – teaches you how to download and install fonts)

Disney Tip: Hidden Mickey‘s – The  Imagineers at Disney have for years hidden Mickey Mouse silhouettes throughout the parks and properties.  My son and I make a game out of trying to find them.  We even have a book that helps us know where to look.  Some are very hard to find.

I enjoyed bringing the Hidden Mickey game into this scrapbook as well – there are several Hidden Mickeys on the pages that were fun for my son to try and find.  There is one on this page that I think is pretty easy to find – can you find it?  If you need some help look at the bottom left picture on the right hand page – I cut out a silhouette of Mickey Mouse using a Mickey Icon Punch seen below.  Be very careful when using a punch to cut images out of photographs – if you make a mistake the photograph is ruined.

EK Success Disney Punch – Medium Mickey Icon – $9.35

This unique patented thumb punch is simple to use and gentle on your hands. The versatile design and alignment marks on the outer edge allow upside down placement making it easy to reverse punch. A simple shape that says it all!

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Europe Vacation: Corfu – Dinner and Entertainment

Europe Vacation: Corfu - Dinner and Entertainment

Europe Vacation: Corfu – Dinner and Entertainment

Our last night in Corfu we went out for dinner and entertainment.  Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but they had some amazing dancers who broke plates and danced with fire.

These pages are an example of using the paper to drive the design of the pages.  I really liked the left hand page background paper for its Greek theme and wanted to use it – so I drew the color inspiration for the pages from it.  You will noticed that the borders of the pictures on the right hand page are similar in color to the left hand background paper.  I also then used the same color for the borders of the pictures on the left hand page as the background page on the right side.  Using this technique ties the two pages together.

You will also notice that I used a corner cutter to cut both the photographs and their borders which adds elegance to the pages.

Paris Tours


Europe Vacation: Corcassonne, France

Europe Vacation: Corcosonne

Europe Vacation: Corcassonne

The stop in Corcassonne, France was exciting for me.  Corcassonne is a medieval town built inside of a fortress.  I purchased a sword while in Corcassonne, which was quite an adventure getting through customs on the way back into the U.S.  The entire town had a cold gray stone feel to it, so I wanted the page to reflect the same drab feel.  I used gray background paper on the left side and a lighter one on the right side.  In order to tie the two pages together I reversed the borders on the pictures to match the opposite page.  As I look back on this layout I probably now would not have added the castle graphic to the left page. You can also see that my failure to correctly spell the town’s name in my journal led to an incorrect spelling on the pages.

Paris Tours

Europe Vacation: The Louvre – Napoleonic Apartments

Europe Trip: Louvre - Napoleonic Apartments

Europe Trip: Louvre – Napoleonic Apartments

Since we had so little time at the Louvre I decided to visit the historic part of the Museum after my short visit in the Art Section to see the Mona Lisa.  I was again struck by the amount of gold in the rooms as well as the astounding amount of red velvet.  For these pages I tried to mimic that design with red background pages and bordering the pictures in red and gold.  I used the fleur-de-lis embossing on gold paper to balance the design.  I was not using a digital camera and many of my pictures turned out dark, which I only discovered when I had them developed.  The gold borders around the dark photographs helps to lighten them to make the features more distinguishable.

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Europe Vacation: The Louvre

Europe Vacation: Louvre

Europe Vacation: Louvre

We had a very short time at the Louvre, and I decided that I wanted to see one of the most famous paintings of all time – the Mona Lisa.  I have to be honest when I finally got to the front of the line to see it I was fairly disappointed – it is smaller than I had imagined it.

I tried embossing for the first time on this page – if you look carefully at the white box on the left page you will see an embossed fleur-de-lis, a common French symbol.  There is another one in green to the right of the Louvre ticket stub.  While I think that embossing is a cool technique, it is not one that I use often because it is often difficult to see through the protective plastic of the scrapbook albums.

A design element that I used on this page was to have a post card of the Mona Lisa on the same page as my photograph of the same.  While this seems strange I wanted the higher quality postcard of the painting on the same page as my lower quality photograph (proof that I really saw it) . I also used white to border the photographs so that the white of the Louvre ticket would not stand out so much, and I think that it draws the eye to the photographs first instead of the ticket.

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