Montana Travel, 2021

Our July 2021 visit to Montana is now in the scrapbook!
As always, the most difficult part of making this travel page was narrowing down the photos. We saw so many neat things in Montana and I struggled to limit myself to the 11 photos you see. I thought the picture of Trevor at his great-great-great grandfather's tomb in Butte would make a neat focal point, so I built the page around that. 

I didn't have much space for journaling on this layout, so I'm thankful that I record my stories in detail in my daily journal and here on the blog. Along with all our photos, my scrapbooks, journal, and blog together are a great memory-keeping system. 


Great Greetings: 42+ Years of Cardmaking

I made this card last week. But I could have made it in 1980.  

I'm not sure I have the year exactly right, but I was around 8 when I received the Great Greetings card 
making kit. I absolutely LOVED it. It was made by Tomy, the same company that made Fashion Plates. It was essentially the same toy, but with seasonal greeting card elements instead of clothing elements. 

You choose your sentiment(s) and images, add a sheet of copy paper, then close the lid and use the special crayon to transfer the design to the paper. It's pretty much impossible to get a clean rubbing, but it's easy to cover when you color it. 

I experimented with cardstock and other heavier papers I didn't have access to in 1980. They didn't work well, unfortunately. The designs didn't transfer completely no matter how much pressure I applied. 

When I came time to color my card, I thought it was appropriate to use the Eagle Prismacolors I used in 1980.  

They covered the extra transfer marks really well. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do any blending or shading because the copy paper wouldn't take multiple layers. 

After coloring, I trimmed the edges and glued it to a card blank. I should put it in the mail to whoever gave me such a great gift 42-ish years ago! Too bad I don't remember who that was. 

Great Greetings is no longer sold, but there are many versions of Fashion Plates available. I've linked some of my favorites below. 


TravelCon - Update

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I bought a virtual ticket to TravelCon. My goal was two-fold: 1) glean as much information as possible from my digital access to the keynotes, talks, and panels; and 2) decide whether to prioritize attending TravelCon 2023 in person. 

My ticket was only $99 for roughly 48 hours of content from the best travel professionals in the business. I've watched around 18 hours so far. Within the first hour, I had received enough information and helpful tips to justify the money I spent. As I've continued to watch, I've learned so much. I have been taking copious notes and have specific strategies I plan to implement. I am SO glad I bought the ticket. I will continue watching the remaining 30+ hours of content and expect it to be just as useful as the talks I've already seen.  

Part of the fun with having digital access to TravelCon is that I'm watching talks that I wouldn't have bothered attending if I'd been in person because they're way outside my needs/interests. I've learned about planning and guiding luxury trips, traveling with disabilities, living nomadically, and becoming a travel agent, for example. What I got out of those is a better understanding of the breadth of the travel industry and my role in it as someone who focuses on family-friendly, educational travel. 

Another very interesting aspect of TravelCon 2022 is that everyone has stories about how the pandemic affected their business. As you might imagine, most were impacted negatively. If you make money by leading travel groups internationally, or by booking air travel or cruises, for example, COVID-19 was a financial disaster. Some nimble bloggers switched their focus to planning staycations, RV travel, and outdoor destinations and saw tremendous monetary growth during the pandemic.

There is no doubt in my mind that TravelCon 2023 would be extremely valuable to me, and well worth the cost of airfare, hotel, ticket, etc. There's only one problem - there isn't going to be a TravelCon 2023. I've been watching most of the content chronologically, but skipped ahead to the closing keynote specifically to hear where TravelCon 2023 would be. I say I was disappointed that it is not happening is a major understatement. I would get so much out of attending in person. 

Since that isn't a possibility, I'm hoping to attend a different travel conference in 2022. The most promising one is TBEX

They actually have a fall 2022 conference coming up in Lafayette, Louisiana. I'm considering it as I continue to research other travel conferences. I'm hoping they (and other conferences) will announce their North America 2023 destination(s) soon. 

In the meantime, I'm considering the Travel & Adventure Show on May 21 in Santa Clara. 

While it is a consumer show and not a blogger conference, there are some interesting speakers on the schedule and I think I would enjoy it. It's inexpensive and fairly local. If anyone wants to come with me and make a day of it, let me know!


An Afternoon Nap in the Farm Box

The second challenge I completed on National Scrapbook Day was Sticker Sneeze at Bash Your Scrapbook Stash. The requirement was to create a shape at least 4" x 8" and cover it with stickers. This was the perfect chance to put all of the rabbit stickers I could find onto a heart and pair it with a photo of Trouble napping. I chose the warm grey cardstock because it's such a good match to Trouble's fur. 

This was a really fun page to make. Although it was challenging, I loved arranging the stickers. I didn't have extras, so I had to make sure I got the arrangement correct as I worked. I filled the awkward gaps with heart stickers after all the rabbit stickers were down. 

I'm definitely going to try a page like this again, with a theme other than rabbits. I have approximately 8 bajillion stickers, so I can definitely find something that works. 


Twos-Day (2/22/22 at 2:22)

Saturday was National Scrapbooking Day, one of my favorite days of the year. While I normally enter a bunch of challenges on NSD, this year I only did two. I spent the rest of my day making layouts without following challenge guidelines. I'll be sharing those pages with you over the next few weeks, interspersed with other posts.

The first layout I made on National Scrapbook Day was for the Paper Weaving Challenge at Bash Your Scrapbook Stash

I've never done weaving on a layout before and I really enjoyed it. I started with two sheets of striped patterned paper and a coordinating background paper that complemented my photo. I've had these papers for 15+ years and I hate them because of the wavy lines. If the stripes were straight, I might have used these papers 14+ years ago. 

I cut each paper into 1/2" strips, making sure no wavy lines appeared in my strips. Then I used washi tape to secure a row of twelve strips (each 12" x 1/2") to my desk. I cut the remaining strips in half to make them 6" x 1/2" and started weaving.

After I had a few strips woven, I was able to remove the washi tape and glue down the ends. I continued until the weaving was complete. 

I had two extra strips. I used one of them for the journaling on the layout, which tells what Trevor was doing at 2:22 on Tuesday 2/22/22. 

After I finished this page, I looked back at the two pages I made in 2011 when the calendar and clock were full of ones. When I photographed Trevor at 1:11 on 1/1/11 (age 4), he was drinking hot cider at the kitchen table after spending the morning with friends at Scandia's Clubhouse. As a four-year old, he attended preschool on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; since 1/11 was a Tuesday, he didn't have school.

When I took pictures eleven months later at 11:11 on 11/11/11 (age 5), Trevor had the day off from kindergarten because of Veteran's Day. We had a trip coming up, so he was on his bedroom floor getting a jump on his Independent Study work. Oh, how I miss the days when his homework took 10 minutes a day and involved crayons!

At 2:22 on 2/22/22, Trevor (age 15) had the day off from 10th grade following Presidents Day. He had just come home from a 3-day Scout training and was completing the Spanish homework he hadn't been able to do over the weekend. 

It's quite a coincidence, and a blessing, that Trevor had the day off school for each of these. He would have been home from preschool before 1:11, but at 11:11 he would have been in his kindergarten class and at 2:22 I wouldn't have picked him up from high school yet. It's fun to have these little glimpses into everyday life.