Articles by traveler
Monday, July 3, 2006
Several years ago, we took our first family vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. At the time we had only one son who was almost 2 and loved to hug characters. I remember one day he hugged over 30 characters (we counted) and he looked at the camera, smiled, and waved for each one. (Kids are so agreeable at that age). As you can imagine, we came home with hundreds of great photos. I was a relatively new scrapper at the time, but I did realize that if I put all the Disney photos in his scrapbook, there would be no room left for anything else. So, I decided, as many scrappers do, to make a separate Disney album. Since then, we have had the fortunate circumstance of being able to accompany Dad on business trips to Orlando while my parents were wintering in Florida. As you can guess, there were lots more great Disney photos and lots more pages in my Disney Scrapbook.
Over time, my scrapping style has evolved and I found that I was no longer thrilled with my earlier pages. I was almost embarrassed by this scrapbook, although I did not want to start another so soon.
Sometime after that, a visiting friend was telling me about her family vacation to Disney World and her plans to create the ultimate Disney Scrapbook. Although I felt that my Disney scrapbook wasn’t so great, I offered to show it to her. She was very interested, spent a long time on every page, and kept saying things like “what a clever idea” and “this page is so adorable”. When she was done, she looked at me honestly and said, “This is a beautiful album.” As you can imagine, that made me feel a lot better about it. I realized that although out-of-style, my Disney album was actually quite good. I also realized what my album had that hers did not: it had all the photos in it (she hadn’t actually started hers yet, and probably still hasn’t).
This story brings me to the most important thing to remember about doing a Disney album: a Great Disney album is one that has the photos (and memorabilia) in it.
It is now several years later, and we recently returned from another family vacation in Disney World. We managed to take over a thousand digital photos, at least a hundred of which are actually good. As I sat there with my stacks of photos, I tried to think of new and creative ways to scrap them. Here are some of my ideas. If you are working on a Disney scrapbook, I hope some of them can work for you.
Disney is fun! Therefore, Disney pages should be fun! There are lots of fun Disney stickers and papers out there. Although scrapping with stickers is out of style, Mickey Mouse will never be. I decided to go with a fun style on most of my pages. Also, with over a hundred photos, I needed to put multiple pictures on each page and work more quickly than I usually do. Luckily this is compatible with the fun style I’ve decided to use.
The first thing I tried to do is come up with highlights from the trip that were special and personal experiences for my boys. On the recent trip, my younger son was determined to hug Mickey Mouse, but was very scared. Over the week, he slowly got over his fear until he ran up to him on the last day. My chose to scrap these experiences separately in my boys’ books (one page each). You can see here the page I made for my younger son. We love this page, not because of the Bazzill and Basic Grey, but because of the story it tells in the progression from each photo to the next.
Next I thought about special experiences we had together. One of these was when my boys got to blow the whistle on the Animal Kingdom Train. I took some photos and they gave us a certificate with their name on it. Clearly this will make a special page in our Disney album.
Finally, I looked for interesting ways to group the remaining photos. For the earlier trips, I had grouped the photos by Kingdom, so this time I tried some different ideas. For example, my older son’s favorite color is blue, his favorite Disney ride is blue, and his favorite Disney character is Stitch (also blue). I grouped these together onto a “blue” page, which I placed opposite a “green” page for my younger son who likes green. My boys love the monorail, so this time I did 2-page layout on the monorail, including the co-pilot license they got for sitting in the front and photos of the blue and green monorails.
Of course, there is the issue of what to do with all of those character photos. I chose to group them. Rather than decide which Mickey Mouse picture is the best, I decided to use them all. I arranged them into a collage on a single page with the cute title “Hey Mickey!” (Another title that would work is “House of Mouse”.) If you have girls who like princesses, create a similar page of them. After creating pages with all the characters that were important to our vacation, I put all the other good ones together with the corny title “A place full of Character”. Another suggestion that has worked well for me in the past is to cut out the silhouette of the character with the child. This removes the problem of a cluttered background and creates a fun look. This is a technique that I use rarely, except at theme parks with characters, where I think it is well suited.
Of course, one can’t forget the journaling. For the stories and experiences, the journaling is obvious. By what about all those posed character shots? Mickey Mouse is timeless, I really don’t think it is necessary to label every picture with him. However, many characters may be fads and I suggest labeling them with some information like: Koda and Kenai from the movie “Brother Bear”. Of course, it is always better to journal something memorable or unique like how you hugged 30 characters in one day, and counted.
One surprising frustration I had with making my Disney pages had to do with plain cardstock. I have a huge collection of cardstock colors at home, and yet I couldn’t seem to match any of my pages. I didn’t have the right reds at all and was struggling with blue as well. I don’t know if Disney colors are very simple, or just different from the rest of my life. Of course, this problem was fixed with a little shopping. If you are going to buy one product to prepare for a Disney scrapbook, I recommend the Bazzill Red Fourz pack. These shades go perfectly with Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom Train. Once I purchased this, my frustration was solved.
One final thought is how to separate trips within the same album. I started this Disney album several years ago, and while I like the whole Disney album to have some continuity, I also would like each trip to feel somewhat separate. For this recent trip, the solution to this emerged by itself. I decided that the first page would focus on a large photo of the whole family with Mickey Mouse and include the year. I had just gotten a new set of alphabet stamps which I used for the title and year. I love my new font and decided to use it somewhere on each page of the 2006 Disney trip.
So, when you return from your Disney trip, do a little shopping, sort your photos, and start having fun! Just remember, the only bad Disney album is the one you didn’t make!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I am a Mom. Like most Moms who scrap, I make albums for my kids and my family. I create pages about milestones, birthdays, school, family outings, and vacations. Within these albums, I include pages about our extended family, mostly through special events with Grandparents and holidays with Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. I’ve even done the occasional page with photos of those ancestors who are no longer with us. The people who probably deserve more attention in these scrapbooks are my husband and me. Whenever Dad does something special with kids, I try to create a page and once I even had him do the journaling; I always look for opportunities to get photos of him bonding with our sons.
So, now I ask the question that many scrappers may be asking: what about me? Many scrappers have started doing a Book of Me where they document who they are, both in the past and the present. I think this is a wonderful idea, and I applaud those who take the time to create such a wonderful memory. However, as a working Mom who can barely keep up with the family pages, I don’t feel I can justify such an effort right now. So, how can I make sure that the essence of who I am is included in the scrapbooks that I do make?
In order to do this, I ask myself the question: who am I? As I think about it, I realize that there is no simple answer. In order to resolve who I am, I need to divide my life into periods. There are many ways to do this, but to keep it simple, I’m going to limit myself to major segments of my life and work backwards.
So I start with who I am now: I am a working mom (did I say this already?). I don’t like to stay home, so we are always going on local outings and we take vacations when we can. I like crafts, reading, and playing the piano. Well, the family outings and vacations are definitely included, the crafts perhaps is obvious, and every year my office has a day to bring the kids which I love to scrap. My husband recently got a new camera which he likes to experiment with on family outings. As a result, I actually show up in a lot of the pictures. So, I need to work on including the piano and reading. Other than that, I think me, right now, is covered in the scrapbooks that I already make.
The next question is who was I before I had children? In order to figure out who I was at that time in my life, I found an old resume and looked at the little line on the bottom where I wrote interests. It said: reading, music, skiing, biking, and travel. I still like to read and play the piano, and I’m already working on a way to include those. When the boys get older, I imagine family ski trips and bike rides, so those activities can wait. As I mentioned, I still like to travel, but every trip is its own unique experience. During that period, I took some interesting vacations and business trips. Unfortunately, I didn’t always bring a camera, and I often used those disposable ones with mixed results. However, I probably still have many of those photos in a box in my basement. So, I believe I have just identified another part of my project: find those travel photos from when I was in my twenties, put them into a small album, and journal what I can still remember. By keeping the album small and simple, I can probably get it done. As an incentive to actually work on it, I am going to choose some paper that I really like. Since I have boys, I will use this as an opportunity to get some appealing, feminine paper that I would never otherwise use.
As I go back in time, I think about college. Although only 4 years, this was a period of unique experiences and change. I had a camera at college, but the price of film and developing was significant so I didn’t take a lot of pictures. However, I put the ones I took into photo albums. I know that many scrappers choose to take old photos out of albums, but I bought good quality albums so everything is reasonably well preserved; and the albums themselves are illustrative of that time and the person I was when I made them. I also realize that I will have an opportunity to add to this in an ongoing fashion as I have a college reunion coming up. I am planning to bring my family and, of course, I will take pictures. By including these in the scrapbooks I am currently making with some journaling that includes my memories of college, I can bring this period of the past into the present and consider it covered in the scrapbooks. As an aside, I scrapped some photos of my husband’s college reunion last year, although his was a different type of experience because he went to school near our current home and my older son spent the reunion playing with his cousin who is one of his best friends.
As I continue back in time, I get to the most challenging period: my childhood. I know where most of my childhood photos are: they are in boxes of slides in my Dad’s closet. My sister and I went through them a while back and got some printed as a gift for my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. While some of the moms did make scrapbooks back then, mine did not. Between the difficulties of getting the slides printed (my Dad insisted on slides) and struggling with photo corners, my Mom did a couple of pages and gave up. One day, I will have to go through these boxes, get the slides scanned into digital images, and put them into a scrapbook. I could do it now, while my parents are still around to help me identify and remember what the things are. Or I could do it later, when I have more time. However, that won’t be for many years, probably not until my kids go off to college. Perhaps I can do it in pieces: go through the slides with my parents and get the stories documented now, but do the actual scrapping later. I will probably go with this last approach, although I have not yet discussed it with my parents.
If you are like me, a busy scrapper focused on those around you, and don’t have time to create a Book of Me, perhaps you can go through this process to make sure you are documented as well. Divide your life into periods, think about who you were and what was important to you during each period, and then figure out if it is already included in the scrapbooks you are making or those that have been made in the past. If it is, great! If not, then think about a simple way to include it in the current scrapbooks, or identify small projects that you can actually finish and make them fun (like by buying great paper for it). Most importantly, as you struggle with this, remember that when your kids are grown, they won’t have this problem because, thanks to you, their childhood photos and memories are already preserved!