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Some of the stories that I want to include in my Disney 2016 album are not big enough for their own page, but I still want to tell them, and for that, pocket pages are perfect.  This page faces the Carousel layout and is on the front side of the pocket page that faces my Dumbo layout.

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P.S. There will be one more tiny photo in the bottom lefthand pocket… I just need to place another photo order!

The thing I’ve discovered about myself is that it’s hard for me to use anything but “scraps” for pocket pages, especially when I’m making an album that also has full-page layouts.  So this was the perfect match for Crafty Jen Schow’s third challenge for this year’s Stashbusting Month: Use Leftovers!  I started with off-cuts of papers that I used in the Carousel layout, since these pages are facing each other.  The rest of the papers are scraps that I’ve saved from making other layouts in my album, and I also pulled out leftover journaling cards from past Project Life kits — I used one whole, but I cut up three others to include in the other pockets.  I even had Husband write one of the captions in his own handwriting!

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The one “newer” thing that I dove into for this page is the Shimelle #stickerbook.  I found some perfect little embellishments to scatter around the pockets– they help keep everything cohesive.

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Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Glitter Girl” (stars and cloud branding strip) and “Starshine” (stripes, green and blue chevrons, cut apart), Anna Griffin “Carmen” (yellow quatrefoil)
journaling cards: Project Life “Baby” and “Jade” Editions
embellishments: Shimelle “Starshine” diecut, Shimelle #stickerbook, Paper Studio enamel dots, Shimelle “Head in the Clouds” washi tape
other: aqua tissue paper

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…and with this insert, my January pages in my 2019 album are complete!

This insert is all about Husband’s birthday.  The front is about our little celebration as a family.

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I used more of the Heidi Swapp color magic tile alphas to make the title.  On this side, I wanted to leave more of the white showing so that they stood out from the busy background pattern, so I only added the ink blending over the letters.

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The card in the bottom pocket has details about what we did, and layered under the photo is a glassine envelope (originally, it held embellishments that came with the Studio Calico kit).  I made a small tag to fit inside the envelope– pulling it out shows a list of the gifts we gave Husband.

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On the back, I feature the story of Husband’s annual game afternoon with friends.

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Again, I used the tile alphas, blending my inks to coordinate with the patterned papers.

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I added some pleated tissue paper under the layers to add some more texture; this coordinates with pockets in the main pages for January.  I want to make sure that the inserts tie in together with the whole month.

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Previously, I’ve said that I dislike pocket scrapbooking in general, but working on these pages recently has made me start to revise that opinion.  “Traditional” layouts have been and will continue to be my favorite, but I am really starting to enjoy pockets more.

I think part of this transition is treating the pages as a unified whole, in a way.  My process for assembling them has changed: I’ve been using a kit of supplies (whether it’s an actual retail kit or a kit that I put together out of my own stash), and that has helped me to tie everything together.  It’s more similar to working in a grid on a traditional page rather than treating each pocket separately, and it’s less overwhelming that way.  I’ll soon be sharing another pocket layout that I did for my son’s album using this same “kit” approach, and it came together so quickly– and I LOVE the end result.

I’m enjoying treating each month as a story to be told.  Certainly, I’m not trying to create a continuous narrative that reads like prose in a book, but I like looking back at a month as a whole, rather than the photo-a-day approach I’ve taken previously (such as my 2010 album, my 2012/daughter’s baby book 366 album, my son’s baby book 365 album).  Those albums are so valuable to me– I LOVE the end result, but the process was not very satisfying for me.  The pages in my 2019 album tell the story of the little things (and bigger things, when I add in layouts and inserts) that make up our life.  It’s a bit more continuous than a photo-a-day.

I’m happy that pocket scrapbooking has become more fun for me, and I’m excited to continue working on this 2019 album!

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Last Christmas, Husband and I decided that V should “inherit” my American Girl doll that I’d had when I was younger.  She was delighted, and I really enjoyed seeing all of my special little doll clothes and accessories out and being enjoyed again.

One thing that I really felt strongly about, though, was having a good way to store the doll’s dresses.  When I was younger, the dresses must have stayed in a pile or gathered under the little garment bag I had as part of the doll’s traveling kit.  It made it hard to play with them, and so I asked Husband if he could help… and of course, he did!

We browsed for some ideas, and somewhere on Pinterest we saw an idea that we both liked– it was straightforward and we had scrap wood on hand.  Husband purchased a dowel, and put this cute clothing rack together really quickly!

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Originally, we had intended to paint it, but we think it looks nice as-is.  It’s stable without being bulky, and I love how it keeps the outfits tidy and unwrinkled.  It’s also tall enough that my daughter can store more accessories on the floor under the hanging clothes.

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I noticed, however, that the dresses collected dust really easily.  (Our house always seems so dusty, no matter how frequently we change our filters!)  It really got to me the other day, and so I went down to my craft studio and drafted up this fabric cover for the rack.

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There are main panels connected with a top panel (so that the design of the fabric could be upright on both sides), and end panels that flare to fit the shape of the clothing rack.

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I added a handle on top so that my daughter can easily pull the cover off whenever she’s ready to play with her doll.

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I think it’s working out really well!

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The cover is easily vacuumed or washable, and it keeps the dresses ready for playing!

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This layout was a challenge for me!  I don’t have any good reason for it: I planned to make a “then and now” layout with these photos ever since my husband asked me to take the photo of him on the speeder bike in Hollywood Studios (it’s even written in my journal from that day!)

And on top of that, when I was looking through the photos I have printed (so far…there are a LOT more to come…) and came across this one again, I realized that a Shimelle layout video I watched recently had the perfect design — a grid style with plenty of room for journaling.  Bonus– a grid layout is one of Crafty Jen Schow’s January stash-busting challenges!

The challenge came in when I started worrying about whether I am going to have enough paper from the Starshine collection to distribute throughout, and then I got skittish about cutting into anything… It was pretty ridiculous, but thankfully I pushed through, haha.  I pulled in a couple papers from my stash, which helped– both with the cutting-into-things issue, and also for a better balance of colors in the palette I chose for this layout.

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My lovely husband agreed to write the journaling for this one, and I am so thankful that he is willing to contribute to this crazy obsession  –I mean– hobby of mine.  The photo at the top is from a trip he took to Disney World in 2000 (when this park was called MGM), and the bottom photo is from our 2016 trip.  When we were walking through Hollywood Studios and saw the speeder bike photo op, he immediately stopped and remembered this old photo of his.  We dug it out after our trip, and I’ve squirreled it away until now.

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I opened a new pack of Thickers for the title on this one– and I was able to combine them with a very, very, very old leatherette ampersand from my stash (it’s one of my favorite alphas, and I just can’t get rid of them, even though there are so few left).  For the years on each photo, I also colored some tiny BasicGrey alphas with a Copic marker to change them from pale yellow to light green so that they would blend a bit more into the foliage on the photos.

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Aside from the enamel dots and wood veneer (the two things I have on every layout in my Disney album), every other embellishment is cut from the papers from Shimelle’s Starshine collection (both 12×12 and 6×6).  I had fun adding little sayings that are a bit tongue-in-cheek like, “You will go far” and “to the moon” (get it– Endor’s moon? ….yeah, I’m becoming somewhat of a Star Wars geek over here…)

 

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After I had so much fun with family Christmas pajamas last year, I decided to go for them again this year!  I decided to continue the “tradition” (if it’s only 2 years, is it a tradition yet??) of choosing a fabric that has images to relate to something our family has enjoyed in that year.  When I was browsing flannels, I found this great camel print, which of course made me think of the Slugs and Bugs’ Camel Song! Our whole family loves this song, and even though we’ve been listening to this album on repeat at Christmas for years now, the camel song makes me laugh every time.  So, I bought the camel flannel (which is also fun to say five times fast…).

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The pajama pants for Husband and I were made from Simplicity 1504 (lengthened for him, modified for me), and I brought out my beloved Blank Slate Patterns Snuggle PJs pattern for the kids’ pants and shirts.  I bought (at a very good price) 3 matching long-sleeved T-shirts from Old Navy, and after putting one aside intact for Husband to wear, I cut up the other two to make matching shirts for the kids.  I wanted to use a fourth to make a Texana Tank for myself, but I completely ran out of time!  Thankfully, I had a RTW royal blue t-shirt on hand that coordinated!

Merry Christmas from our family!

 

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Our 4-year old son played the part of Peter Pan this year. (Find the group photos HERE)

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We referenced the animated Disney character, the character description and illustrations in the book the kids read with Husband this summer, as well as the licensed costume I spotted at the Disney store one day when walking through the mall.

I loved the look of a leaf tunic over a green collared shirt, so the first thing I made was a button-up shirt– and since by itself, it’s just a nice cotton top, I’m excited that B will be able to wear it throughout the rest of the fall and winter.  In fact, I’m going to dedicate a separate blog post to that shirt!

I used the Blank Slate Snuggle PJs pants pattern as the basis for the green leggings– I simply narrowed the legs so that they appear more leggings-like, and I left off the bottom cuffs.

The pièce de résistance of the outfit, in my opinion, is the tunic.  Husband did an amazing job of developing the pattern for this garment, which is supposed to look as if it’s been made out of large leaves.  A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a roll of upholstery fabric that was absolutely perfect for this project– there are stitched embellishments that look like leaf veining!

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I added a seam in the front so that the neck opening would be a bit wider and more comfortable, and I set some eyelets through which I threaded some fake leather thong as lacing.

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Of course, we needed some accessories to go with the costume to complete the look!  Husband drafted up the patterns for each of these sewn accessories:

A jaunty cap– I used more of the upholstery fabric and lined it with some of the extra green cotton.  I added a flat loop in which to slip a red feather.

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Elfin-looking shoe covers– these are kind of like spats: we slip them onto B’s ankles, and he wears his actual shoes underneath.  We found some vinyl “pleather” on clearance, and it was perfect for this!

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We used more of that pleather to make a sword holster!  We looked at some LARPing inspiration on Pinterest and found this basic design to be managable–both to make and for B to use.

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And of course, that leads us to the sword, which might be B’s favorite piece of the costume (although I think he really does love the whole outfit!).

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Husband whittled the blade out of some scrap wood we had on hand, and B took great delight in helping Daddy paint it (they used several coats of metallic craft paint).  Husband wrapped the grip in black electrical tape both for looks and also for comfort.

B is so excited about this little wooden sword, and he is quite the fierce swordfighter in his imaginary duels!

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When Captain Hook shows up, you fly!

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just look at that cute, mischievous face! so very Peter Pan…

 

 

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This past summer, Husband read Peter Pan aloud to our children, and after they’d finished the book, they also watched the Disney animated film.  Somewhere along the way, B declared, “I want to be Peter Pan for Halloween!” and upon hearing this, V exclaimed, “And I could be Wendy!”

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And thus our costume plan was born.  We had originally intended to make it a full-family affair, putting to use again Husband’s Captain Hook costume— and I was going to be Tinker Bell!!  But the lack of an event for adults (besides taking our kids trick-or-treating) led us to conclude that perhaps my time/money/energy would be better spent on other things.  However, I am so delighted that our family is still willing and able to do group costumes together.  (Here’s to many more years!)

In this post, I’ll share some costumes of our Peter Pan and Wendy together, and also with our Hook (who dressed up for the photo shoot!  yay!).  I’ll have a couple more posts coming up soon with the details of each of the new costumes!  HERE are the details about Peter Pan, and HERE are the details about Wendy!

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I sewed the Wendy dress and hair bow, the tunic, shirt, hat, and pants for Peter Pan, as well as using vinyl “pleather” to make the shoe spats and sword holster.  Husband designed the pattern for the leaf tunic, sword holster, shoe spats, and hat!  I’ll share all those details soon!

Of course, we need some action shots!

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about to take off!

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And then Captain Hook showed up, and Peter Pan had to do a little sword fighting!

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And then they had the idea to reenact the scene in which Wendy is tied to the mast of the Jolly Roger, and Peter Pan is fighting to rescue her– thanks to a convenient tree in our photo shoot location!

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For the past two years, I used a Sugar Paper for Target planner for all of my goal-setting, to-dos, and daily planning.  I’d switched to the Sugar Paper one when I was unable to find another favorite planner of mine, and I discovered that its weekly layout with a facing weekly planning page was exactly how my brain worked!  When I went to buy one for 2018, I made the sad discovery that they weren’t selling that planner through Target any more!  I had fallen in love with the weekly layout, and the planners directly sold from Sugar Paper didn’t even meet my needs 😉

As I discussed this “tragedy” with Husband, he suggested that I make my own.  He even volunteered to set up an Excel spreadsheet to auto-populate the dates onto the weekly pages and calendar spreads so that I wouldn’t have to do it by hand.  In fact, he went so far as to program it so that I can enter any year, and it will calculate the proper dates!  Hooray!  He really is amazing.

Not only that, but he helped me fine-tune the margins and cell sizes so that it prints out just right.  I decided to make a half-letter sized planner and use the Staples Arc system to bind it (I purchased THIS punch–affiliate link).  In past years, I stuffed all sorts of bits and pieces into my planners and they ended up bulging in an unsightly way with extra papers (and then they’d fall out if I dropped the planner…).  I purchased a set of Arc covers and the largest discs I could get so that it has plenty of room to grow.  I’ve already added several bits and pieces (notes from my daughter, slips of paper with school information, ephemera stapled to patterned paper, and cards…) and it makes me so happy to see them as I flip back.  I love that these bits of life are now part of the planner in a sleek way.

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After lots of fussing with the layout and fonts, I finally reached a look that satisfied me.  I took my favorite aspects of the two planners I’d loved and some modifications that I’d been making to them and mashed them all together.

At the front of the planner, I have a year-at-a-glance calendar that I modified from HERE.  Because it wasn’t quite the right aspect ratio for what I needed, I took a screen shot of the .pdf and re-created the title with fonts that match the rest of my planner.

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Each month starts with a notes page, which I am using to keep track of the things I accomplish during that month.  On the facing page, I have a planning page to help me keep track of my intentions for that month in each of a number of categories: scrapbook (memory keeping), sew, home, and health.  I also have a spot for important dates and a box where I can make notes for future goals and hopes — the ones I want to get to but aren’t reasonable for that month.

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Right after that comes the month’s grid.  In a future iteration, I hope to have the boxes programmed with conditional formatting so that the borders show up only if there is a number inside… but for now, I might add pretty patterned paper to the blank boxes… maybe!  These pages are printed on card stock, so they serve as a bit of a divider.  I may add little tabs (maybe with matching patterned paper??), as well.

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Each week has a planning page and a week-at-a-glance page that I use to keep track of my daily to-do list and appointments, etc.

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It took me until almost the end of January to get everything in order, but I was using test pages from the beginning of the year, and that really helped me work out some of the finer details before I printed everything.  I am really, really happy with how this turned out!  I am so very grateful for Husband’s help!  This wouldn’t have come together without him.

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Last year, I promised to make my beloved Husband some pajamas for Christmas… except I didn’t get to them until this year!  Right before Thanksgiving, I completed this set for him.

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I used Simplicity 1504 (shirt, pants) and lengthened the pants by several inches.  In future incarnations, I’ll also lengthen the sleeves for him.  In the end, I was impressed with how nice the pajamas look, but I will say that the pattern itself is terribly written.  There were a number of missing markings on the pieces, and the directions themselves were only so-so.

There is piping on the shirt and on the pant cuffs, and I’m pretty proud of how it came out– this is only the second time I’ve used piping, and the first on a garment!

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I love this Star Wars fabric, and I wanted to do do as much pattern-matching as I could.  The ships are level across the pant legs, and I was happy that I could highlight an X-Wing on the shirt pocket…

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…and a happy coincidence resulted in the ships lining up all the way down the back of the shirt and pants!

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Last but not least, possibly my very favorite of our costumes this year– Husband as Flynn Rider.

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The main part of this costume is the vest Flynn wears, of course.  I started with Simplicity 4059, view B and made some pretty significant modifications.

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I found a woman who made a Flynn Rider costume beginning with the same pattern and blogged about it in 2011, and her documentation of the modifications she made to the vest pattern (she also started with Simplicity 4059) were extremely helpful, as were her detailed notes on the vest Flynn wears in the movies.

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We chose a faux suede in a slate blue that I found on clearance+sale at JoAnn.  I bought two yards and spent about $9 on it!  I consider that a good deal.  We pored over screenshots of Flynn’s vest and analyzed and studied it some more.  I added some width and length to the pattern so that the front would overlap and the torso would be long enough for my tall Husband.  I also “drafted” faux yoke pieces for the front and back and we marked out what seemed to be miles of topstitching lines.  To give the vest the loft in its quilting, I padded the main torso section with a layer of flannel (an old sheet!)  and the yoke sections with an additional double layer of flannel before doing the quilting. Husband drafted the collar (my brain was fried)

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We collaborated to figure out how to recreate the hook closures.  Husband bought a short length of brass chain at Home Depot and took apart the links– half of them were twisted to form hooks, and we left the other half of the links “whole.”  We devised fabric mounts (for lack of a better word) that involved tiny buttonholes and fabric loops…I was glad to finish that portion of the vest!

 

Husband wore khaki pants and a white button-up shirt he already owned, but we wanted him to have the rakish adventuring boots that Flynn has–without having to buy much.  Husband had the brilliant idea to turn an old pair of brown pants into a spat-like device that covered boots he already owned to give them to floppy fold-over top (they are also lined with pieces of yet another old sheet!).  We used a swatch of pleather to make Flynn’s spats.  I sewed elastic to the corners to make loops, and we added large brads from my scrapbook stash to look like the studs on Flynn’s.  I didn’t have brass brads, so we used a yellow permanent marker to color some silver ones.  I was amazed what a difference they made!

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To top it all off, Husband grew a beard and shaved it to a goatee for Halloween weekend.  Look at that smolder!

 

 

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