Portland - March 2018

I was on a roll, finishing up the 2-pagers from our Canada trip. So I kept going and whipped out this spread from our Portland trip in March. 

Portland '18 (affiliate link)

I kept everything really simple. All the photos are in a grid, except for the Portland marquee that I fussy-cut and used as an embellishment. I put the title on black cardstock, accented it with a tiny strip of patterned paper, and put the year in the top right. Then I wrote a ton of journaling. 

As I've mentioned before, I keep a daily journal. Normally, I use it as the source for my journaling on a layout. It helps me capture my thoughts and memories from when they were fresh. But in this case, I veered away from that a little bit and allowed the passage of time to guide part of my journaling. Midway through our trip, my dad was admitted to the ICU. It was a very scary time and it was hard to fully enjoy the trip. Now that 8 months have passed and my dad is doing great, I was able to include that in my journaling. 


Turkey Paper Chain

Our family loves decorating for holidays, particularly at this time of year. I love that our house goes directly from Halloween decorations, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas. And no matter what the season, my favorite thing about decorating is pulling out our artwork through the years and reminiscing. Homemade decorations are the best.

Our latest homemade Thanksgiving decoration? A chain of turkeys.

Follow the easy steps below to make your own. The materials list includes affiliate links.


Paper Chain Turkeys



Fold a piece of brown construction paper in half lengthwise, then in half widthwise twice. If you open up the paper you'll see 8 rectangles.

Refold the paper lengthwise, then use the existing fold lines to create an accordion fold. You can think of this as a Z (or an M or a W). Draw a turkey body on the top square. The head and the body should not quite reach to the edges of the paper, but the wings must touch the edges. This is how the turkeys will hold hands. (Or wings, in this case.) This concept is tricky for some children, so I always demonstrate what happens when the wings don't touch the edge before they get out scissors. 

Cut through the layers, following your pencil line. 

You'll end up with two strings of turkeys. Set one string aside, share with a friend, or tape the two strings together to end up with a longer paper chain. 

Glue googly eyes, beaks, wattles, and tail feathers to the turkeys. Anything goes. I chose to layer orange, pink, and yellow feathers.

Did you notice that one turkey's feathers are different than the others'? I noticed while the glue was still wet, but liked it and decided to keep it that way. It adds personality, I think. 

The last step is to hang your paper chain and enjoy!


Fall Foliage Cruise

Here is the layout from the cruise portion of our Canada trip in the fall of 2014. It's a bunch of photos in a grid, a decorated title card, and a ton of journaling along the bottom.

Fall Foliage Cruise (affiliate link)

As always, narrowing down the photos was the toughest part. We did so much and saw so many things. These 22 photos don't show even a fraction of what we saw and did, but they represent the trip pretty well. Amongst the photos are examples of the places we went, the landmarks we saw, the activities we did onboard, and the food we ate. My family members each appear in at least one photo. I'm thrilled to have this trip documented and in the album.


O Canada!

I love Canada. I've visited many times (most recently when we were detained trying to get back into the US... sigh), but my favorite visit, hands down, was in 2014. We joined my parents, my sister's family, and my brother-in-law's godmother for an epic vacation. We flew to Toronto, spent three nights, took the train to Montreal, spent two nights, and then took the train to Quebec City, where we boarded a cruise ship for a 10-day cruise. 

Trevor created an amazing album documenting the trip as part of his Independent Study (he missed 10 days of school for this trip) and also made a slideshow. Both are treasures, as they capture all the details through Trevor's eyes. I'd been putting off creating a scrapbook layout summarizing the trip for several reasons: it seemed like too big of a trip to summarize, Trevor had already documented it, and I didn't know that I could do the trip justice in one page. I ended up making three double-page layouts. I've already shared one (Autumn Colors) back in May, with promises to make and share the next two "soon." Does six months later count as soon? 

O Canada! (affiliate link)

This page covers the highlights of the train portion of our trip: Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Montreal. It was very difficult to narrow down the photos, but I'd say that any layout that includes 21 photos AND lengthy journaling is a win. I'm happy with it. I'll share the layout of the cruise portion of the trip tomorrow. 


Cardboard Tube Cowardly Lion

I've learned some things as I've been making my cardboard tube Wizard of Oz characters. Gluing tiny bits of hay to a scarecrow is NOTHING compared to photographing a reflective Tin Man. Photographing a reflective Tin Man is NOTHING compared to working with faux fur. Henceforth, I will be referring to "faux fur" as Fuzzy Evil.

Ordinarily, this is where I'd encourage you to make your own, but I can't in good conscience tell anyone to work with Fuzzy Evil. If you insist, however, follow the directions below. There are affiliate links in the materials list.


Cardboard Tube Cowardly Lion



Paint the cardboard tube with tan paint and let it dry completely. Cut a strip of Fuzzy Evil long enough to just wrap around the tube. It should be high enough to leave the face area exposed. Glue it in place. Cut a second piece of Fuzzy Evil to cover the back of the head, sticking up slightly behind the back of the head. Glue it in place. Add a few random tufts to the inside front of the tube. 

Cut a pair of matching ears from cardstock. Ink the edges, fold a small tab backward, and add glue. Put the ears on either side of the face. 

Glue the googly eyes in place, then use the brown pen to draw a nose, mouth, and whiskers. Then start filling in around the face with small tufts of Fuzzy Evil. Keep going until it looks relatively even. Finally, cut two short tufts and roll them in your hands like you'd make a playdough snake. These will be the eyebrows. Glue them in place, pointing down toward the center, but make sure your lion doesn't look evil. 

Now, take a shower and vacuum the house twice to eliminate as much Fuzzy Evil from your craft space as possible. (Note: You cannot remove it all. It's worse than glitter.) 

 As much as I struggled making this (and cleaning up afterward), I'm happy to have completed the Cowardly Lion. I have a few more items to add to my cardboard tube Wizard of Oz collection. In the meantime, check out the tutorials for the characters I've shared already: Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man.

Who (or what) do you think is coming next??