Friday, February 28, 2014

Capturing my Magical Memories

We love all things Disney. This post is a little different than my normal post, because I want to lay out a project concept I will be working on in 2014 and will be sharing bits and pieces of along the way. I call my project idea My Magical Memories. Ready? Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to dive in to all things mouse.

We have gone on three Disney cruises and have been to the Florida parks 5 times, with two short trips to California. I have 2 cruises scrapped chronologically and only 2 of the 7 trips scrapped. The two park trips that are scrapped are done CM style, in chronological fashion, one album per trip.  {Which beg me to undo them and redo them in my non-CM style….}

And my one cruise that is done is in a WRMK 3-ring and it’s really the only Disney work I’ve done that I love. I used my beloved Scrapbook Generation sketches on it and the Little Yellow Bicycle Traveler line throughout. I have it all photographed, but they are a little blurry and I’ve never re-photographed them. So, you probably have never “seen” any pictures of it. I plan to re-shoot it soon and will post it eventually.

Because I am “so behind” on the stories of this place we love so much, and because I know we will only continue to go, and I will only continue to “stay behind” -- because I actually work full-time -- I decided to step back and evaluate what I wanted to do! The sheer thought of scrapping so many trips in the standard “this is my whole trip kind of album” is somewhat overwhelming!! Also, how many layouts do you actually need that highlight Cinderella’s Castle? Or better yet – how do you tell the story of why you love to eat at Harbor House if you scrap trip by trip, chrono? And that is why so much of my Disney trips are undone, my lovely photos are not scrapped, and my magical stories are untold.

So, while I waited for Simple Stories' Say Cheese line to release in 2013, and as I thought about all of our trips and all the photos I love that are untouched, and all the magical stories that long to be told, I had a light bulb moment. An AHA! I needed to take my Stacy Julian (SJ) Library of Memories (LOM) concept and apply it to Disney!!

If you are unfamiliar with SJ’s LOM concept, let me briefly explain it. Stacy scraps on a story-driven mode. She loves to compare and contrast. She loves to have an idea and be able to run with it – and find pictures to support it. She does not scrap chronologically.

{Insert a big nod here to her life-changing, to me, book – The Big Picture. If you have ever read this book, she explains why she scraps the way she does here. That book spawned another book, Photo Freedom. The books spawned her online class Library of Memories at Big Picture Classes. As Stacy says, HUGE. Her idea was huge. Yes, I love her.}

As Stacy scraps, she makes layouts about whatever she wants, and then she slips them into her LOM. Her categories: All About Us (her husband and herself and their children), People We Love (extended family, friends, pop culture crushes like Mr. Rogers, etc.), Things We Do (hobbies, extracurricular activities, every day moments, holidays, traditions, celebrations) and Places We Go (Home, Near, Far). So, if she does a layout about her son Clark at 16, it goes into All About Us under her Clark tab. If she does a layout about his birthday party, it goes into Things We Do – Celebrations. With me? You kind of have to “get this” to get where I’m going with Disney.

So, as I thought about my, literally, thousands of photos, I decided this: I want to scrap my Disney trip like I SCRAP MY LIFE. I want to tell stories. I want to make connections. I want a layout about Andrew eating a Mickey Mouse ice cream at age 4 and wearing Mickey Mouse ears at age 18. I want to let my book be organic and grow as our story with Disney grows. {If you only go there once and plan never to go again, my concept probably isn’t going to work for you….} Because we go often and will continue to go, because we all love it, I want the story of our trips to reflect that. With me so far?

I am laying out my Disney Magical Memories library like this (major sections listed first and then if that section has subcategories, they are listed to the side of it) - 

  • Magic Kingdom – Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland 
  • Epcot – Future World, World Showcase 
  • Animal Kingdom - Africa, Asia 
  • Hollywood Studios – Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, Streets of America, Mickey Avenue 
  • Downtown Disney – this is about to redone and called Disney Springs. If it spawns into “fun map areas”, I’ll plug that into my DD section. 
  • Disneyland - Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland 
  • California Adventure – Paradise Pier, Golden State, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, A Bug’s Land 
  • Disney Resorts (properties we’ve stayed at) 
  • Disney Dining – stories of restaurants we’ve eaten at around the world that may not work into another section. For instance, we love to go eat at the Whispering Canyon Café at Wilderness Lodge. That’s not a park and it’s not related to staying there…. 
  • Mickey’s Best Guests – US – pictures of just each of us at the park that may not be telling the story of a ride or something we did – it may be about the year when YDS tried on every pair of ears he saw and wanted me to take his picture…or it may be about the year ODS got his abominable snowman plush because he braved Space Mountain for the first time….or pictures of them falling asleep in their Mickey nuggets at dinner when they were 3 and 4…. 
These sections are areas straight off of Disney maps. So, where your event is – or what your story relates to – is based on something at the park. That something at the park will tell you where in your Disney Magical Memories albums it would go – Cinderella’s Castle ? Fantasyland. Meeting Buzz Lightyear over by the ride? Tomorrowland. Belle’s show at Hollywood Studios? Sunset Boulevard section. Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom? Asia. Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom? Africa. Swimming at Coronado Springs? Resorts.

Now, realize, scrapping all of this takes time – as it does in life. In my own LOM of our everyday life, I started out with one album for each of Stacy’s categories, and each category has it’s own color that I picked – Us: Cobalt, People: Buttercup, Life: Red, Places: Kiwi. I now have 14 – 3 blue, 3 red, 2 yellow, 2 kiwi and then my trip albums. They have grown naturally and expanded. It’s fun to watch. It adds joy to my scrapping and it adds meaning to my stories.

So, it will take time in my Disney albums for me to get any kind of layouts to work into these sections. BUT, if I have a VISION for where I want to go, and if it is workable for me, then it’s exciting!!

My plan: to go through my pictures and print the ones I want to scrap. Then, I will sort them into the above categories and begin scrapping that way. If you have never scrapped “across time”, you will love it. I truly think you will love it. “Across time” means taking two pictures that relate to one another that were not taken in close proximity to one another, e.g. Andrew at age 4 at Disneyland and Andrew at age 18 at WDW. The Disney Parade layout I did below for Sketch Support is one example of scrapping “across time”.

Those are 4 different parades and if they were scrapped inside the regular confines of a chronological vacation album, you would miss the story of comparing the parades for similarities and differences as you looked at all of our trips. Those 4 parades were from different years – but they worked together to tell the story of us loving the parades…. Where will it go? Into the Main Street USA section of my Magic Kingdom album. Why? They were all parades at MK and we sat on Main Street USA to watch them. And did you notice I said Magic Kingdom album? Your sections will organically grow into albums…. As you finish layouts and put them into your sections, you will go from one album to two to three, etc.

Because I will scrap now by “place”, I can cover some of the smaller stuff easily and “move on”. I don’t necessarily want to document the tea cups every time we go. I can scrap it once and slap it into Fantasyland and move on. Or, if I want to do a feature on topiaries at MK, I can put that into the Fantasyland section.

This new layout or method -- or library --, if you will, gives me the options to tell any story I want to tell, and I can tell my stories in any order I want. I can also know if I’ve covered the teacup story, because I can look at the Fantasyland section and see it easily. I can also easily see what stories I haven’t told. If Adventureland is empty, it tells me “Scrap the pirate ride – you love the pirates!” or “Scrap the dole whips that hubby and my boys have to have every time!”

Now, the method to my madness. I will scrap with a story driven purpose, and I will print pictures and put them into piles together based on where they will end up…I see a working case growing for each of these sections: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, California, Misc. Based on how fast I work, or how I kit things, these working cases may expand or collapse. The cases will also contain the memorabilia for that park. 

I bought clear Iris Cases and labeled the edges. I like all things looking the same. You? You might want a Pink Iris case for MK and a Green Iris case for Animal Kingdom – your choice. The papers I’ll use for each section will vary. The color scheme at Fantasyland is vastly different than the color scheme at Animal Kingdom. As I find papers that work for those photos, I’ll slot them into that working case. Make sense? Embellishments that might work only for that section will go in there, too. Animal stickers? Animal kingdom. 50’s stickers for Prime Time Café? Hollywood Studios work case.

I like to use solid cardstock to tie things together, so each section will have a designated color of cardstock. It will probably be one of the colors from the iconic symbol for each park. For Magic Kingdom, it will probably be the blue of the castle roof. For Animal Kingdom, a green of the Tree. For Epcot, maybe a pale icy blue that matches the big Globe. For Hollywood Studios – the brighter blue of the Sorcerer’s Hat…Stacy has as part of her LOM design that you make divider pages. I have done these for my LOM and I love them. So, I would take this concept and make divider pages for MK, AK, HS and E and the others….A key color in those divider pages would be the color off the icon. One of the main pictures on the divider page would be OF the icon image – the castle, the hat, the tree, the globe….

Making sense??

Papers? I have a BIN of paper I’ve pulled. I do not scrap Disney per se out of Disney paper. Why? Most Disney paper is red/black/gold/white. Well guess what? Walt Disney World is NOT that color scheme….On the Simple Stories' Say Cheese, I plan to incorporate that into, and along with, other papers. I know that I loved the color scheme of Simple Stories' Urban Traveler. Also, some Lily Bee releases have great colors in them. Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 was great paper. You will pull in to use what papers you love that match the clothes you are wearing or what you are standing up against. I love cutting little Mickey Heads on my Cameo because you can make those out of any color cardstock and they will match your layout.

When am I starting this? I started the organization in 2013 and in January of this year I began my Hollywood Studios album.  I sorted my photos by trip into the parks, using tags in iPhoto. Once I had my photos tagged by park, I created a search for them using the park name key word, and then I rated the photos to ones I wanted to print by giving them a star rating of one star. One Smart Album later, using key words and star ratings, I had my photos ready to print for Hollywood Studios.

Albums? 3-ring for sure. 
I am still undecided on which ones in particular and have my layouts in progress parked temporarily in a Becky Higgins 3-ring. I may use the Simple Stories albums for these.  I like the distinctive book plate and how it will differentiate them from my Library of Memories albums. I had initially thought I would start with either red or black – Mouse colors. Epcot may end up in green. Animal Kingdom may end up in brown. But, I am still very uncertain which way I want to invest in this. I'm still mulling it over. As your library grows, you can add color into it to help differentiate what is what. If you have a little princess, you may want to use PINK somewhere along the way… 

My layout style: I am going to do a "mix". I am going to do some layouts like the parade one – just straight up a double (or single) layout. Other layouts I will do like Allison Davis  does for Simple Stories – I will do a “normal” 12x12 on one side and use pocket pages on the other. I love, love, love her layout style with the Simple Stories Life Documented series and think it is, for me personally, a great way to tackle my Disney memories.

Okay. I think I’ve laid out enough to either overwhelm you or excite you – or both. Ha, ha. I'll try to do a regular post on this series so you can see my progress. 

To quote my favorite mouse, "See ya’ real soon! "

We Love a Parade ~ Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom ~ 2005 - 2010

Paper: October Afternoon
Fonts: Waltograph, Minnie


  1. So glad to see you've got this all written down here. I really enjoyed seeing the start of your album in St. Louis. You even swayed me on that EP paper when I saw how versatile it was.

  2. This is genius!! We too are Disney fans and go to Disneyland regularly. We have been on one Disney Cruise and to Disneyworld once but Land numerous times. In fact we are going again in 5.5 weeks. I have one trip scrapped. I am really going to think about doing it this way. I love the idea!! Thanks for taking the time to share your process. I am actually dreaded trying to tackle this but now I am excited!! Thanks!!