In my first post about this vacation journal, I showed the blank journal and the little kit of items that I brought with me on our anniversary trip to Grenada.  In this post, I’d like to share a bit about how I actually used it while we were there.

I had hoped to use some of the 12 hours(!) of travel time on our way to Grenada to catch up on my photos (read about my workflow HERE), but when I discovered that my laptop battery had died and that there was no way to charge it on the plane (boo), I pulled out my journal to get started right away.


in-flight entertainment: my travel journal and kit. snack (including the whole can of Dr Pepper! Score!!). good book.

Obviously there wasn’t a lot to write about yet!  But I think it got me off onto the right foot for documenting the rest of the trip.  (The rest of the traveling time, I read and colored in a grown-up coloring book…)  Before we started the trip, I hadn’t thought much about how I was going to lay out the journal, but as I worked on it on the plane, I was able to do some thinking and make some decisions.  Right away, I realized that I didn’t want to do too much embellishment ahead of time, and I also decided that I would leave a lot of space for photos among the hand-written text I’d add.

Once we were actually at our destination, I ended up writing in my journal every day!

Yes, I worked on my journal at the beach.

Yes, I worked on my journal at the beach.

It turns out that you really do have a lot more time when you don’t have kids with you!  Haha!  While I definitely enjoyed just watching the water, soaking up the silence, walking, reading, and generally just being happy on the beach, there was still plenty of time for pulling out my little journal+kit and recording everything that we’d been up to.  I have no idea how long I spent on it each day, but I did add a little embellished date header for each day, and wrote as many details as I could remember.

I didn’t set out to write prosy entries– I thought it would be more bullet-point type of lists, but it turns out, prose is faster for me to write!

Yes, I worked on my journal at the beach.

Unfortunately, the three colored pens I’d purchased and had hoped to use for this journal were dry!  I knew that one of them was dry before the trip, but I had thought that the other two were working okay. Not so.  Bummer.  I had also brought a black Project Life 0.05** pen with me, intending to use it for doodling or titles or something.  It ended up being my main writing instrument.  It wasn’t a huge deal, but I definitely would have brought a finer-tipped pen if I had known!

It was exciting to have such a complete journal right at the end of the trip!  I had the luxury of an on-plane power outlet for part of the trip home, so I did a lot of photo-processing for much of our travel time (It took away the sting of leaving such a beautiful place and such a relaxing vacation by being able to re-live the memories, haha!).  However one of our planes didn’t have an outlet, so when my laptop battery inevitably died (it’s getting old), I pulled out my journal, finished up the writing for the last day, and started trying to add a few bits of ephemera.


After my laptop battery died, I worked on finishing up my travel journal entries. GND-MIA.


I thought about adding some photos of the journal pages, but there are so many that I thought that maybe a video might show it a bit better.  So, here it is– my very first YouTube video ever.


**seriously, what are the units on pen tip measurements?  My science-background brain is twitching over not having units after that number right there…

This is the very first of my Disney scrapbook layouts!  Wooo!

Back in May, I jumped on the Shimelle Starshine collection finally coming back into stock at Scrapbook.com and ordered a nice big bundle of goodies for myself.  Ever since I’d seen the CHA posts with the details of this collection, I knew that I wanted to use it for my Disney scrapbook.


“I ordered a lot of Shimelle Starshine products (and a number of other things) from Scrapbook.com and they arrived today!! I am so excited to have these in my hot little hands.” –May 19, 2016


On the second-to-last day of August, I decided to put my other projects on hold and make a scrapbook layout, because I had been putting paper scrapbooking off for a couple months and I was really missing it.

I also think I was avoiding it, because I was intimidated… not only had I been taking a longish break from 12″x12″ layouts in favor of other projects (memory-keeping and otherwise), I also really wanted to work on this Disney album, which is a fairly important one in my mind.

When I ordered photos way-back-when, I printed these two photos of my feet.  Even then, I knew that I wanted to tell the story of my Mickey toes on a layout.  I thought that this would be a good way to get back into the swing of scrapbooking and break into my supplies for this particular album.  It’s not a hugely important story (there are some that are much dearer to my heart), but it is one that I was excited to tell (and remember).


The design of this layout originated with a sketch from one of Shimelle’s weekly challenges.  Clearly, I made a lot of changes, but when I originally saw the sketch all those weeks ago, I knew it would be perfect for these two photos of my Mickey toes.

I have a huge journaling block to fit all of my words, and I embellished at the top and bottom of that block, as well as in the top left corner.


“Happy place” because it’s the “happiest place on earth” and also because I am so happy when I can wear flip flops!


I added some paper strips and a bit of a tag to the top of the journaling block because it was looking lonely up there.  It makes me happy to have a sparkly enamel dot “lens” on the wood veneer camera!


The chipboard star was damaged in the packaging, so I layered it under the cardstock die cut to hide the flaw.  

It was a challenge getting back into the swing of scrapbooking– and it was also a challenge to dive into the supplies I’d purchased.  I always run into this issue when I have purchased or acquired or gathered products for a larger project: what if I run out?  Did I use too much?  Did I use too little?

In this case, I do think I erred on the “too little” side.  I wanted to layer more, but with the two busy patterns, I just couldn’t figure out what to add, so I didn’t add anything.  That being said, I am happy with the result.


I think I might try to add a little enamel dot Mickey silhouette to every 12″x12″ layout I make for this album.  Hidden Mickeys, if you will.


I added the lime green strip behind the title because the words were getting a little bit lost on top of the photos.  I used the rest of the bits of the green strip throughout the embellishment clusters for continuity.  

patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine 12″x12″ paper pad
embellishments: Shimelle Starshine chipboard stickers, Shimelle Starshine ephemera, 
alphas: Shimelle Collection Fitzgerald Thickers gold glitter foam, Studio Calico wood veneer stars, Studio Calico wood veneer cameras, The Paper Studio enamel dots, red labels printed-and-cut with Silhouette SD  
other: white cardstock, Scotch ATG, Therm-O-Web foam adhesive, Project Life 0.3 black journaling pen

I have really been enjoying the new stamps I’ve acquired recently. The images are fun to use for more elaborate cards, but the are so well-illustrated and wonderful for coloring that I couldn’t help but make some very clean-and-simple cards recently.  All of these cards are colored with my Xonex colored pencils.

First up, a set of “Thinking of You” cards.  I stamped with black pigment ink one of the floral clusters from the Paper Smooches “Blossoming Buds” set, then heat embossed it with clear powder before coloring.  The sentiment is from a very old Hero Arts set.



I made this next card for my dad’s birthday.  I love the cute pun in this Lawn Fawn “You’re a Fungi” set!  (Even funnier when my dad read it…)



Last but not least is this not-quite-one-layer card.  It started out that way in my mind, but then I couldn’t resist cutting out the adorable seagull+dock piles from the Paper Smooches “Surf and Turf” set and matting it on some patterned paper.  I popped the whole thing up with a layer of craft foam and added the little paper banner with the white heat-embossed sentiment (from the Lawn Fawn set).




I am linking up my cards using Paper Smooches images to the September “Anything Goes” challenge on their blog!


I’m also linking these cards to the Simon Says Stamp “Clean and Simple” Wednesday challenge.

Aqua Blanc t-shirt

Over the summer, Melissa Mora of Melly Sews/Blank Slate Patterns released a free t-shirt pattern.  The day I downloaded it, I cut it out of an old t-shirt of Husband’s to check the fit and immediately decided that I needed to make myself at least one of them!  A while later, I finally bought some jersey fabric.  This Blanc tee is made from an aqua rayon/spandex (95%/5%) jersey knit that I purchased at Joann.

Blanc tee made from aqua rayon/spandex (95%/5%) jersey knit. I'm learning how to attach a jersey binding. Free pattern from Melissa Mora/Blank Slate Patterns

The pattern itself is incredibly straightfoward and if your fabric — and your sewing machine!!– cooperates, it is a very quick and satisfying sew.  I had some trouble getting my cover stitch to work properly (in hindsight, I think I needed some fresh needles).  While I absolutely love the way this fabric drapes and feels, it is not easy to sew, which added some challenge as well.

Blanc tee made from aqua rayon/spandex (95%/5%) jersey knit. I'm learning how to attach a jersey binding. Free pattern from Melissa Mora/Blank Slate Patterns

Blanc tee made from aqua rayon/spandex (95%/5%) jersey knit. I'm learning how to attach a jersey binding. Free pattern from Melissa Mora/Blank Slate Patterns

I’m learning how to attach a jersey binding, something I’ve somehow managed to avoid until now!  This one is by no means perfect, but I do think it came out pretty well.  I measured the perimeter of the neck hole and subtracted 2″ to determine the binding length.  I pinned it at the shoulders and middle front and back (accounting for the deeper front, of course) and stretched it slightly as I attached it with my serger so that it lies flat when worn.

Blanc tee made from aqua rayon/spandex (95%/5%) jersey knit. I'm learning how to attach a jersey binding. Free pattern from Melissa Mora/Blank Slate Patterns

Stay tuned for a post in a couple weeks about my second Blanc t-shirt!

Lap desk for B

We had an eight-hour drive to and from our vacation spot this summer, so I decided that it was time that B had a lap desk of his very own!

Thankfully, I’d had the foresight when making V’s lap desk to take detailed notes and photos of my process.  [When I looked back at that set of instructions, I was seriously impressed with myself–I have no idea how my mind was clear enough to come up with the plan, let alone execute it and even take notes!  My baby was 6 weeks old, for heaven’s sake!  I think my creative brain was functioning better then than it is now😉 …I was just desperate for some crafty time, and my deadline was extremely motivating.]

Anyway, I was very glad for the notes+photos combo.  I made almost no changes to my original “pattern,” though I did add a little pencil/pen slot to one of the pockets because the fabric scraps I was using weren’t long enough!

On one side, there are two smaller pockets:



And on the other, there is one larger pocket (and the pencil slip):


The desk is topped with a magnetic whiteboard that ties on with ribbon, and there is a green carrying handle.


Underneath, there is a envelope pillowcase that holds a thin pillow for padding:


The row of buttons holds a piece of corrugated cardboard that gives the desk some structure beyond the magnetic whiteboard’s edges.



The cardboard, pillow, and whiteboard can all be removed, if the desk needs to get washed.



I think B enjoyed having a lap desk for our trip.  The kids really enjoyed coloring with Color Wonder pads and crayons to pass the time.

Recently, I made two quick, clean-and-simple notes to share with friends.  I used the adorable Paper Smooches “Space Cadet” stamp set.

I used the stamp set on this tag to make a little scene.  I colored it with my trusty Crayola markers!


I used a black pen to make a little modification to the astronaut on this notecard!  My friend is starting a new school year teaching dance, and I wanted to send her a little note of encouragement (she’s going to be awesome, as usual!).  I was in a silly mood and decided to make the astronaut’s boots into ballet slippers!


I can’t get enough of these cute stamps!


I am linking up these cards using Paper Smooches images to the September “Anything Goes” challenge on their blog!


Comic book dress

I don’t usually go for novelty printed fabrics, but when I saw this comic book print, I couldn’t resist– especially since it was Marvel characters, Husband’s favorite!  I wore the dress for the first time in Grenada.  We went out onto one of the jetty piers to take these photos before we went to dinner. I had some spontaneous compliments from people that night, which was extra fun!

The pattern is Butterick 6094; I bought it last summer and it was “burning a hole” in my pattern stash.  I was so excited to find this fabric to make it– since it wasn’t very expensive, I am treating this dress as a wearable muslin.  I made no alterations to the fit, and it fits almost perfectly.  I think if I make this dress again (or the pencil-skirted version), I will petite it just slightly in the bodice.  I did shorten the skirt and underskirt by 4 inches.

I wore my comic book dress tonight!

I wore my comic book dress tonight!


The back of the dress is my favorite part.  I love that dramatic fold-back facing!  Fun fact: the gold-tone buttons are extras from when I made Husband’s Captain Hook coat!  I decided to use gold-tone buttons for two reasons: 1) it would have been very hard to choose which snippet of the comic book fabric to use to cover buttons (as per the pattern), and 2) I discovered that this particular incarnation of the dress looks much better on me with the wide black belt.  My belt has a gold-tone buckle, so the gold-tone buttons tied everything together.

I wore my comic book dress tonight!

I wore my comic book dress tonight!

I wore my comic book dress tonight!


The skirt is a full circle, and instead of organdy (which I couldn’t easily find in the Joann in my town), I used a white sheet I had in my fabric stash.  I use sheets for a lot of hidden pieces of garments!  It is probably a lot heavier (in terms of total weight of the dress) than the organdy would have been, but it was free!

I wore my comic book dress tonight!

My inner little girl absolutely loves the twirliness of the full skirt!

I wore my comic book dress tonight!