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2014: Trapped in San Diego

2014: Trapped in San Diego

2014: Trapped in San Diego

At first glance this page may not look like we are trapped! But – we were.  We left Los Angeles to travel back to San Diego to catch our plane back to Indianapolis.  workshopAfter having lunch with some friends I realized that a winter storm was hitting the Midwest, and called the airline to try and get moved to an earlier flight which was not full to beat the storm home.  The airline refused to move me to the earlier flight, and our flight was cancelled and we could not get a flight home for an additional 5 days!  So – we got to spend an additional 5 days in San Diego.

The airline paid for one night so we had to figure out what we were going to do the rest of the time.  Fortunately our good friend offered for us to stay with her which we did for several days, but our exchange student Luca wanted to pay for a night in a hotel – so we spent a day at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa.   It seemed like there were only about 5 other people at the whole hotel and we learned that post new years at hotels in San Diego is very quiet.  It was nice to have the whole swimming pool to ourselves.

These pages showcase the things that we did while we were trapped in San Diego – visiting Coronado Island, hanging out in the pool, and eating at Wahoo’s – our favorite fish taco restaurant.

There were quite a few pieces of ephemera that I wanted to include on this page – including the resort map and entertainment guide and newspaper clippings with maps of the awful weather that the rest of the country was experiencing.  I created a pocket using my Crop-A-Dile big Bite Punch to affix the green rivets on the right hand page.  I then put the pictures on the front of the pocket, and slipped all of the large pieces of ephemera in the pocket.

When we finally made it home I was glad that we were stuck in San Diego for the whole time – if we had been home we would have been stuck inside our house the whole time – so being in San Diego was a much better place to be trapped!


2008: San Diego Padres – Petco Park

2008: San Diego Padres - Petco Park

2008: San Diego PadresPetco Park

Find authentic game-used jerseys at Steiner Sports!One of the last things we did when we lived in San Diego was go to a Padres game at Petco Park. It was a themed day where kids were allowed to go into the outfield to get pictures and autographs from the players. We were fortunate enough to get this picture with Adrian Gonzalez who unfortunately now plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I designed the background paper for this spread as well.  I used a straight-line cutter to cut the brown diamond and the blue “spectator stands” and placed both of these on top of the green “field” paper.

I bordered each of the pictures in “Padres tan” which matches the uniforms and the ticket on the page.  I like to use tickets on my pages because they often have the date and time printed on them, and they serve as my journaling of the event.

If you notice in the middle bottom of the spread it looks like there is a plastic packet of dirt — well you are right.  We picked up a little dirt from the outfield to add to this scrapbook spread!

The rest of the items on the page are Jolee’s stickers and Padres scrapbook stickers that I found at a local scrapbook store.

2008: San Diego Bay Bridge Run/Walk

2008: San Diego Bay Bridge Run/Walk

2008: San Diego Bay Bridge Run/Walk

Once per year the Navy hosts the Bay Bridge Run/Walk to raise funds for the Navy’s Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Fund. The Website shares that “MWR provides Quality of Life programs for our 500,000+ active duty and retired military, reservists, their family members and civilian employees who make up our San Diego Military Family. This unique 4-mile run/walk has a one of a kind spectacular panoramic view as participants make their way to Coronado’s beautiful Tidelands Park from downtown San Diego over the Coronado Bay Bridge.

This is a rare opportunity to walk or run across the Coronado Island Bridge which has incredible views.  A friend of ours told us about this opportunity and we decided to join her on this adventure.  It was a beautiful day and wonderful experience and if you live near San Diego I encourage you take advantage of this in the upcoming year.  Find out how to do so here –>

This page was a lot of fun (and work to create).  I could not find background paper that I felt did this event justice.  So I decided to make my own.  I took one of my pictures from the experience – looking back on the bridge that we had just walked over, and used it to hand draw the bridge from that viewpoint.  I then painted the bridge using craft paint, and when it dried used a permanent black marker to outline the paint.  I purposely did this in a very rough format because I didn’t want to take away from the pictures of the event.

I put my son’s number onto the page and then themed the pictures after the number.  I used a hole punch to punch holes in each of the pictures so that they matched the holes in our numbers that we wore for the walk.  I also placed the pictures in chronological order from left to right showing our progress across the bridge.  I made sure that a photograph of our time at the finish line made it onto the spread in the top right hand corner – and I journaled on the bottom of the bridge in the right hand page our experience so that viewers would understand what we had done that day.


2008: San Diego Children’s Museum

2008: San Diego Children's Museum

2008: San Diego Children’s Museum

I can’t seem to remember how I got invited to the Grand Opening of the San Diego New Children’s Museum, but we did. Maybe it was because we were recently adopted and were on some list. But – we had a great time at the event.

The San Diego New Children’s Museum is unlike any other museum for children that I have ever been too – it is themed around art, and every exhibit is a hand’s on piece of Art that children can play with.

There were two favorite pieces that we had on this day.  The first is the top picture on the left hand page – yes – that is a VW Beetle covered in paint!  They had a real VW Beetle that they were letting the children paint on – so we left our mark on that project for sure.

The second was an instillation of large foam pieces that children could build into various things.  If you look at the center of the Museum brochure I put a picture of my son in this exhibit.  But you will notice that he is on a television screen!  The cool thing about this exhibit is that it recorded children building things for about 5 minutes, and then it played the whole sequence backwards 🙂  I had my son stand in front of the camera – and then I watched the video until I saw him in it and snapped this picture.

I chose the funky pink and green background paper to compliment the bright pink museum brochure and then used a corner cutter to round all the edges of the pictures.

I had originally laid out all the pictures square with the background paper, but I decided that that was too formal for the craziness of the Museum and of our day there.  So I decided instead to tilt the brochure and the pictures at an angle to emphasize the energy of the day.


2008: Karate: Earning a yellow belt

2008: Karate

2008: Karate

My son’s school offered after school karate for a month to give students opportunity to earn their yellow belt.
Live Well SportsThese pictures are from an after school demonstration, as well as his yellow belt ceremony.  He loved  Karate so much that we continued lessons up until the time that we left San Diego.

The inspiration for this spread that came from the yellow belt and a card that one of our friends gave to my son for a special occasion.  The card is in the top left hand corner, and when you open it it plays “Kung Fu Fighting“.

2008: Karate Insert

2008: Karate Insert

If you look carefully at the picture to the left you can see the card is open.  You can also see the white pull tab which is the mechanism that starts playing the music.  In order to create this I cut a slit in the background paper (And the plastic sheet protector) to slip the back part of the card into.  This allowed me to then put a picture of my son behind the card so that when it is opened you can see the picture, but not the back side of the card.

All of the pictures and journaling are bordered with orange and yellows that are inspired by the colors from the Kung Fu card.  I also hand drew and cut the yellow belt that serves as a border for the top of the page.  In order to give it some depth and dimension I used an orange marker to carefully mark the edge of the belt.

The embellishments are the Jolee’s Karate sticker set.


2008: Balboa Park Railroad

2008: Balboa Park Railroad

2008: Balboa Park Railroad

Located in Balboa Park, right next to the San Diego Zoo, is the Balboa Park Railroad. One day after visiting the Zoo, we decided that we would take a trip on the railroad.  I also purchased my son a wooden train whistle which I had to take away after 10 minutes of continuous blowing 🙂 .

While this page is fairly simple I did try out some new tools on this page.  The first is the Title bars which I made to look like luggage tags using my brand new Cricut machine.

I also used a new corner cutter that I had just purchased on all of the photographs.  I purchased a small BPRA patch which is located at the top right of the left hand page at the Train Station ticket booth.

The train track was very simple to make – I just used my Fiskars paper cutter to cut straight strips of black paper which I used for the rails.  I then cut more strips and then cut them smaller for the railway ties.  The worst part of this project was gluing all of those small pieces to the background paper!

As I look back on this page I have two feelings – one is remember the great time we had together on the train, and the other is realizing how simple this page is, and now that I am more experienced how I would have done it differently.  But, I never go back and redo pages, because that then destroys the record of my growth at the time.  And besides, I have too many new projects to work on to go back and redo ones done years before.

2008: San Diego Zoo

One of our favorite places to visit in San Diego is the San Diego Zoo. Since we have season passes sometimes we just go to visit for an hour or two. These pictures are from several different trips to the zoo in 2008 that I put all on this one page.  You can see that we went to the zoo alot during our first few months together by viewing “Zoo Trip 2007”  and “Wild Animal Park 2007“.

I found the left hand lion background page at a local scrapbook store, and since I grew up in Africa I knew that I would use it in some project.  I discovered though that it is often difficult to use background paper that has a dominant photograph like this as it forces placement of photgraphs and ephemera and often makes design difficult.

I used thin burlap to create borders for these pictures.  The difficulty with this was that the burlap would not stick to the background page or to the pictures with the sticky tabs that I prefer to use.  I ended up having to use glue to affix the three items together, which is not a preferred technique in my mind.

You will also notice the bead lion and the painted rock that are on the right hand page.  I purchased these at the San Diego Zoo gift shop specifically to put in the album.  I affixed both of these items to the page using clear crafting glue. However, the beaded lion has not worked out so well.  Each time that the album is closed the beads press up against the plastic sheet protector and they have warped the plastic protector so that the page looks strange because of the warping.


2008: USS Midway

2008: USS Midway

2008: USS Midway

One of the wonderful things about living in San Diego is the great number of activities available for families.  One of these is the USS Midway.  Wikipedia shares this history of the USS Midway:

USS Midway was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of its class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, the Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, as well as the first U.S. warship too big to transit the Panama Canal. A revolutionary hull design, based on the planned Montana-class battleship, gave her better maneuverability than previous carriers. She served for an unprecedented 47 years, saw action in the Vietnam War, and was the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991’s Operation Desert Storm. Decommissioned in 1992, she is now a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, California, and the only remaining U.S. aircraft carrier of the World War II era that is not an Essex-class aircraft carrier. ( ).

You will notice that there is some glare on this page that comes from the plastic protector sheets.  I based the color scheme of this page off of the patch in the top left corner.  The borders for each of my pictures is taken from the colors in the patch.

In the top right hand corner is a car window cling sticker that I received from a friend, and I affixed it to the page with brads.  Since it is a reverse window cling sticker it sticks to the page protector which is one reason that I could not take these pages out to photograph them.

I also glued a pressed coin to this page as well.  We often collect these on our adventures to give to my father who collects them, but this one I kept for the scrapbook.


2007: Birch Aquarium

2007: Birch Aquarium

2007: Birch Aquarium

One of the advantages of living in San Diego is that everyone wants to come and visit :)!  So, I felt the need to buy season passes to all of the local attractions to save money while giving friends and family the local sights tour.  One of our favorite places is the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

This spread is another example of mixing photographs from various trips to the same location.  If you look carefully at the pictures you will notice that my son has different outfits on in some of the pictures.

I used a pre-printed background page set and then added some of my own elements.  The blue round “air bubbles” were cut with my Cricut machine and I added the fish sticker on one of the “bubbles”.  I purchased the iron on patch at the Aquarium store.  I often will buy patches to put in scrapbooks, since they are usually pretty cool, and we don’t really iron on patches on to any clothes that we have.


2007: Horseback Riding

2007: Horseback Riding

2007: Horseback Riding

When my son moved in with me I joined the YMCA for several reasons.  One was that we could take advantage of the swimming pools at several of the YMCAs in San Diego, another reason was that my son wanted to attend day camps in the summer put on by the Y, and we got a discount if we were members, and third, they had a special group for parents that was a parent/child group that had outings once a month that we could go on with other families.

One of the trips that we did with this group was horseback riding.  This was my son’s first time on a horse and he had a great experience.

I didn’t do too much exciting on this page, but I love the way that it turned out.  I used pre-made paper and Jolee’s sticker packets for the embellishments.  On the right hand page I surrounded the page with small gauge rope affixed with brads that go through the paper.  While this looks really cool, it made it very difficult to get into the plastic sheet protector and it has permanently warped the protector page.  If you look closely at the picture you can see this.

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