Desert Vibes for the Summer

Road trips are to be had this summer!

I think one of the most quintessential summer vacations is to be had at the desert. Think Palm Springs for a minute… bright colors of the homes, the lifestyle, the sparkling pools, against that desert sand backdrop. Or what about Joshua Tree, or Death Valley? Those muted tones, the rich sunsets, and the vast desert flora… just breathtaking!

How would you document your adventures in your traveler’s notebook, planner, scrapbook or journal, using the same stamps on completely different outings? Can it be done? You bet it can!

What stamps am I working with? Social Paper Plan’s new Out West Stamp collection.

First up, Pocket Pages.

Pocket pages scrapbooking is a form of scrapbooking in smaller sections to complete a whole page. Instead of using one big 12×12 inch page as your background, you can now design in small sections, making completing pages more manageable.

Also used to compete this project was the digital download that was printed to fill in some of the pockets. Adding stickers or stamping on your pictures enhances your design as well. It truly makes creating a scrapbook less daunting with all of the things that are offered to help you create. This layout was created in less than 10 minutes.

You can chose to get creative with your design layouts as well. Because it was so effortless to create the first page, I took my time to add a few elements to this design layout. These stamps are perfect for any desert landscape, or tranquil setting.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

These 3×4 inch sections can be divided up into sections or your design can overflow into the next section.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection
Social Paper Plan Out West Digital Download

Traveler’s Notebook

Designing in a traveler’s notebook layout allows you to use one or two pictures, and plenty of room for journaling or adding embellishments. They are no constraints as to what size your pictures have to be (as in the pocket page style you must use 4×6 inch or 3×4 inch photos), even though smaller is best in this case.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

This style allows you to focus on the main picture and work around adding embellishments to enhance your design not overtake it.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

You can chose to stamp directly onto your paper, or stamp onto clear sticker paper and add it to your design. I have done both here.

Planner – Memory Planning

These stamps are designed for smaller spaces, that will allow you to use them in areas like your planner, or on handmade cards or gift tags.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

This Out West Collection is so versatile, we just used it on our trips to Joshua Tree, Sedona, and now we are using it on a Disneyland layout.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

There are so many succulents and cacti all around Disney if you really look! This stamp set was absolutely perfect for this memory planning spread in my Happy Planner.

Social Paper Plan

I used the stamps as a background for this second spread. Instead of using black ink and coloring each image in, I used two different shades of green and left the outline. I like the boldness it gave the layout.

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

Make sure to mask off the out sections when stamping your background. I used washi tape all around the page to mask off where I did not want any stamped images to be be. After removing the washi tape you are left with this stamp design.

Journal

I loved using one of the leaves design in my journal. The outline of the leaves allowed me to color in the leaves. It added a subtle look that I love!

Social Paper Plan Out West Collection

I cannot wait to try this same technique in the fall with different colors leaves.

Handmade Card

These stamps are so perfect for handmade cards! Like I mentioned before, the size of the stamps make it perfect for these projects.

Social Paper Plan

You can stamp directly on your project or stamp on clear sticker paper, either way is a win win for me!

Hope these ideas gave you some insight on how versatile this collection really is! You can find them here. Happy creating!

Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World? Finding the right Hotel for You

You have decided to visit Disney World, what now? Where do you begin? First thing first! What time of the year will you be going? What is your budget going to be? Once you have decided those two things, you are ready to begin!

Pop Century

If you are not use to humidity, Florida’s summers can be brutal. In fact the majority of the months have humidity, but the summer’s humidity can take its toll on you. I would try to avoid hurricane season and summer. Hurricane season starts in June with the worst months being August and September, and could last until November. I like to schedule my visits between November and early May for great weather.

Art of Animation

I have been in September, and the heat and the humidity tire you out faster making your days shorter. We stayed on property and took advantage of early morning park entry to the parks. We were at the parks by 7:00 in the morning and did the majority of the rides, went back to the room during the height of the heat, and then returned to the parks in the evening when the sun set and cooler temperatures were out. During the warmer months this is something to consider. Making sure you are hydrated and cool is most important.

November, January, and February have been my favorite months to visit. Perfect weather, great deals, and in November you can see the Christmas decorations!

Now you have what month you would like to visit, and you have your budget… let’s book a room. I would tell you to stay on property 100 percent of the time, I am a big believer in all the amenities Disney has to offer. Being fully immersed in your vacation is the way to go. But, with COVID other hotels and amenities have been brought into consideration, and they are making staying off property look pretty good!

Staying on a Disney property meant you were able to access the Magical Express at the airport. You do not need to organize a shuttle to your hotel, nor do you have to grab your luggage! Disney sends luggage tags to your home to tag your bags, once your flight lands your bags are whisked away and put in your hotel room. Once you check your luggage at the airport upon departure, you will not see them again until you enter your hotel room! You then load onto your Magical Express bus and it will take you to your hotel on property, for free! Not having to lug your luggage all around the airport looking for your shuttle to take you to your hotel and shelling out extra money is priceless! Not to mention they do the same thing on your return flight home! They drop off tags for your bags to your hotel room the night prior to you leaving, tag your luggage then drop them off at bell services. They will make sure they make your flight home, and they arrange the Magical Express bus time for you back to the airport. It really is magical. Note that this service is ending at the end of the year, they will no longer offer it after this year. Big disappointment, this was one of the selling points for me.

Another selling point for staying on property was Magic Bands! They were free band they would send to your home prior to your trip and was the key to everything! You do not have to go to the front desk to check in, your Magic Band is your hotel key ( they check you in when you land so you can go straight to your room when you get of the Magical Express). You link your credit card on it and you can pay for almost everything in the park on your Magic Band! Your Photo Pass is also linked to your band. This is the last year they are sending Magic Bands to you for free, after that you will have to pay for them.

Magic bands

Staying on Disney property also allowed you extra hours at the park before opening. Another huge selling point! To be able to get in the parks before they open allowed you to ride all the rides that other wise would have long lines. During COVID they are not honoring early morning park hours for hotel guests.

Shopping! Yes, even shopping has staying on property advantages! I love being able to shop at the parks and not have to lug it around with me all day. If you make a purchase in the parks you can have it delivered to your hotel. As long as it isn’t the day before you are leaving, during the rest of your stay shop all you want and your shopping packages are delivered to your hotel. Each night when I returned to my hotel I would stop at my hotel gift shop and pick up the items I purchased that day throughout the parks. I think I spent more knowing I didn’t have to carry it around all day. You know how heavy those mugs are!

Polynesian Resort

Transportation around the property is free! Staying on property has it’s advantage and this is one of them! Buses, monorails, ferries, Skyliner, and walking trails are some of the ways to move around the property. Busses are available at all Disney resort hotels. I am sure other hotels offer the same service, but not as frequent as the Disney buses, you can always find a bus!

Monorail Hotels: Polynesian, Grand Floridian, The Contemporary

Skyliner (gondola) Hotels: Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, The Riviera, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk

Ferry/Boat Hotels: Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan Hotel, Dolphin Hotel, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge

Now keep in mind the boats, Skyliner, and Monorail don’t go to all the parks. The Monorail from the resorts will only take you to the Magic Kingdom (unless you access the monorail from the Transportation Center, you can take the TC Monorail to Epcot). The Skyliner will take you to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, the boats depending on where you are will take you to Epcot/ Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom. You can only take buses to Animal Kingdom. Ubers, or Lyft prices fluctuate depending on time and demand. It could be up towards $100 on some days just getting to your off property hotel a couple of miles away. Please keep this in mind. Renting a car is always an option but you will have to pay a fee per night at the hotel as well as parking each day at the parks.

Yacht Club

Another advantage to staying on property? You are close! You are tired at the end of the day, staying on property means you’re a little closer to all the magic! Not to mention every property has a bus that will take you to Disney Springs. You defiantly wan to go to Disney Springs a few times on your trip, there is so much to see and do and eat there!

The Grand Floridian

Disney has hotels they call “Good Neighbor” hotels that offer almost the same advantages as the Disney resorts without the hefty price. They are usually close to the parks as well. They offer shuttles, not like the Disney hotels, in fact a lot of them advertise park shuttles but what it really means is they drop you off at Disney Springs and you have to take the Disney bus going to a Disney hotel and take a bus from that hotel to the park you want to go to. That’s a lot of buses! Read your fine print or ask for an explanation of their shuttle system. Some offer “Early Morning Hours” like the Disney resorts (even though the are not offering it during COVID). Biggest draw to staying at a Disney Good Neighbor Resort is honestly the affordability. The rooms are less expensive you can stay longer.

Another thing to consider is where and how will you be spending your time? Do you have a few days to take advantage of the pool and other resort activities? Do you just need to place to sleep and shower? Will you be visiting other parks like Universal? Take all of these under consideration. If you have some days to space around the resort splurge a little and get one with a nice pool, great restaurants, and other activities. I have stayed at a hotel closer to Universal for two days once when I was going to do the Universal Studios Orlando and Island of Adventure, after doing the math on Ubers it was cheaper to get a room for the night right next to Universal and walk to the parks. After we checked into a Disney resort for the rest of our stay. I only did it this way because I was already in Orlando and would not be needing the Magical Express for the beginning of our trip. I needed it for the end of our trip so it made sense.

So many decisions! I have stayed at off property hotel – Gaylord Hotel, Good Neighbor Hotel – Hilton, and on Disney property – All Star Sports, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. I have been super pleased with them all. They fit my needs at the time.

All Star Sports

This will be an ongoing series of posts. I hope this article helped get you thinking as to where you want to stay when visiting Walt Disney World. This is just the beginning!

**All photographs are my own**

Handmade Cards are Truly a Work of Art

The combination of brands that are being combined to make these works of art is genius! Long gone are the days of sticking to one brand for creating a whole card. Now, creators are putting together scenes with one brand, using characters from another brand, and adding texture with another.

If the scale is right, go for it! Stamps that would otherwise be used in journals, planners, bujos, or memory keeping are now pairing well with characters from many beloved stamp brands made for cards. If the perportions are correct, its game on!

Like a game of paper dolls, dressing adorable critters have become all the rage. Everyone loves a cute bear frolicking in the forest, but now you can make that cute bear at Disneyland, on Main Street eating a churro!

Veronica Zamora from @daisyludesigns created this slimline card featuring a bear stamp set from Lawn Fawn and accents stamps from Social Paper Plan.

Mari from @alittlesomethingfromme on Instagram created this work of art with character stamps from Kindred Stamps and accent stamps from Social Paper Plan. The two paired well together for this birthday card.

Jenn from @cre8iveli on Instagram created not one, not two, not even three, but four scenes on one slimline card for the next spotlight. Using critter stamps from Mama Elephant and scene stamps from Social Paper Plan she made the perfect theme park day scenic card. Pandas, kitties, sloths, and bunnies are all pretty cute on their own, I think we can agree on that. But place those animals in front of Disney rides and we have taken our love for them to a whole new level. I mean really… a panda and a sloth riding the teacups, just precious!

Long gone are the days of being exclusively brand loyal on one card. Sure, sometimes it just works out that you don’t have to use any other stamps from any other companies to make your card, you have all you need in one stop! On the other hand when you start to combine forces with stamps from everyone to make one masterpiece, it really comes alive! You have then created a unique handmade design like no other.

Thank you to our three card artist who take the time to create these works of art for us, but most importantly thank you for sharing them with us! Your creations have inspired many others as well. Veronica, Mari, and Jenn, you are all creatively brilliant!

How Instagram Can Help You Plan Your Trip

Using Instagram to help plan out your trip sounds insane, but it really is a huge help!

Does anyone remember MapQuest? That was the website you went to if you needed directions, it was basically a Thomas Guide. Please tell me I am not alone in knowing what both of these are! You would basically enter the address and it would give you turn by turn directions to where you were going. That meant you needed to know ahead of time where you were going, and the address from where you were coming. You could have just printed a giant map and circled your points of interest, and then carried the map around everywhere. I mean, I was born in the 70’s and we went on a lot of vacations without technology helping us lead the way. Without Yelp telling us where to eat, without travel blogs telling us cool hidden places to explore. It can be done, it’s been done. But to maximize your time and to help you recall all the places you visited on your stay, technology is handy.

Majority of my trips are spur of the moment, if I can find a great deal I cannot pass up, or sometimes I am short on time… flying in and out. For example, Portland is a city where from my location I can find inexpensive flights, it’s also a city close enough where I can fly in early in the morning and take the last flight out back home. This gives me a whole day to explore. If I can maximize my time I have a day full of adventures and eating good.

How do you find all the cool places to eat, or shop, or take the Pinterest worthy pictures at? I get this question asked of me a lot! Instagram! Well, and blogs, and books, and websites, but eventually all these places live with me on Instagram.

I create a bookmark gallery and give each gallery a name. I like to use the name of the city for each bookmark gallery. I sometimes will use a general area, for example I have a Southern California and a Northern California gallery, not a specific city for those areas.

From that point I begin using the search bar on Instagram. Let’s pretend we are searching Portland things to do. Type the word Portland into that search bar. Underneath the search bar they have four options of how to search for what you want. You will see the options: Top, Accounts, Tags, and Places.

>> Top will show you what was searched the most with the word Portland in it.

>> Accounts will be accounts with the word Portland in it.

>> Tags will show you the most used # hashtags with the word Portland.

>> Places will show you a geotag and the name of the place, since we searched Portland it will show us all the geotags with the word Portland. If you click on the location, it will show you the exact pin drop on MAPS. You will see a blue box under this as well that says View Information, if you click that box it will take you to a screen that says Category, Price, and Website. You can enlarge the map, move it out to get a a birds eye view of the surrounding area. It will usually include an address as well. Below this will be posts tagged from this location. If you need more information about the location, click the website and it will take you to that locations official website where you will find all the information you need.

Where to begin? Want to find great food? Look up hashtags like #portlandfoodie, from there all the pictures with that hashtag will come up. They give you a couple options search by the top posts featuring that hashtag or the most recent posts. I do both.

You can also choose to follow that hashtag, that will then allow any post with that hashtag to show up in your daily feed. Scour those pictures for meals that catch your eye! When you find them use the little page flag in the bottom righthand corner of that post to save it to your Portland gallery. Keep doing this until you have a bunch of choices for your trip! Always do more.. more is better! Don’t save only three places because that’s all you have time for on your trip save 23 places! By saving the post you will have the geotag of the establishment under the Instagram account (I made a cool how to info sheet explaining how to do this below). That geotag will be able to open up in maps or it will give you the address of the establishment to give to your Uber driver. Now keep repeating this same method for stores you want to shop at, museums, art galleries, cool landmarks and more until your Portland gallery is full!

Having all the information allows you to seek out your own places to visit not just the ones that, that location is traditionally known for. Eat where the locals eat, shop where the local makers have their wares, listen to the local talent. It is so worth it. I promise. This method of how I find all of that is all here!

Make your galleries and start bookmarking your places. You will have your own travel guide in the palm of your hand. What makes it even sweeter? When I am ready to document my travels I have all the information of where I ate, shopped and adventured to right at my fingertips for reference. I also use a hashtag to help me keep all of my travel posts organized and easy to locate. Once you make travel look effortless, your friends will start asking for your recommendations. By having quick access to your travel posts because you gave them a hashtag will be so helpful in the future. You can have them search your hashtag or find the post and tag them in it.

I have galleries for places I want to visit one day too. When someone ask me hey.. have you been here? Where should I eat. I tag them in a post from my gallery, I tell them I have not yet eaten there yet but to let me know how it is! Always be prepared, you never know when you can hit the road!

Hope these graphics below help you start building your travel galleries on Instagram! If you have any questions please reach out to me! You can also follow along my travels at #tinaktravels and how I document my travels at @socialpaperplan on Instagram.

Documenting your Disney World Trips using Non Traditional Color Combinations

Documenting a Disney World trip doesn’t have to be cheesy; no pun to the mouse himself but, it doesn’t. The items that are traditionally offered to us are red, yellow, black, and white. Can we create magic with for all four parks using only those colors? Why this color scheme? Because they are taken from Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s attire, and has somehow become the unofficial color scheme of all things Disney in the paper crafting world. Can you imagine going to Animal Kingdom and having only that traditional color scheme to use to document all of your amazing pictures with? It would definatley be discouraging to say the least.

I have only been to Disney World twice with children, the other dozen or so times have been adult only trips. I still want to document my trip to the parks, without having to use the child like illustrations that are often made for us to use to memory keep our trips.

Working with a color scheme that compliments the pictures you are documenting will make for a more life like journal. It will make your pictures stand out more, and will tell the story best.

For this Animal Kingdom page I did in my travelers journal, I used colors that complimented the park as a whole. Natural colors are used throughout the parks design. The buildings blend into the background as the animals and foliage are the main stars. Browns, all shades of green, terra cotta, and stone are a great combo to the blue sky. I pulled from that color palette for this layout.

As it stands in the park, I too wanted the Tree of Life to be the focal point and stand out. I could have stamped the tree stamp in a bold color or black ink, but I wanted a more subtle look to compliment the picture not over shadow it. I stamped it in a watermark ink to achieve this look.

VersMark Watermark Ink

The VersaMark watermark ink will allow whatever you are stamping to be one shade darker than the paper color you are stamping it on. In essence this one pad can actually be 100’s of different colors all in itself! In the above example I stamped the tree stamp with it and then onto our stone colored paper, it in turn made the stamped image one shade darker then the paper resulting in a darker stone color almost grey color tree. I used it to make a background pattern for the layout.

I wanted to draw your eye to the bottom of the page where I stamped a tree in black ink and colored it in with watercolored pencils. I could have used markers but I wanted a more natural look, a more subtle color scheme. Watercolor pencils are perfect to achieve this look. I outlined the tree, and then used my water brush to move the color throughout the tree, resulting in a very life like depiction of the tree. Markers in my opinion would have been almost too perfect and would have been a little too bold for my liking. The colored pencils are less forgiving allowing for imperfections to stand out. Just like in nature one tree can look like a million different shades of green depending on the angle you are looking at it from. I used the watercolor pencils from Fun Stampers Journey. The water color brush pen is a refillable pen with a brush like tip, allowing you to move the color from the pencils around your image. I used stamps from our line at Social Paper Plan.

Watercolor Pencils Fun Stampers Journey
Water Color Brush Pen
Stamps from Social Paper Plan

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a whole different color palette. You have more colors brought in to the making of that park. You have the eye-catching storefront buildings used to mimic California, you have the bright colors of Toy Story Land, and the futuristic colors from Galaxy’s Edge all in one park. Even the food is brighter here!

It is envetiable that Florida is going to be hot when you go.. that’s one of the best things about Florida! Cold drinks, foods, and desserts are to be celebrated there! I am going to show you two layouts that are most contrasting in design but are taken mere inches from one another.

Social Paper Plan TN Layout

In the above layout bright colors are welcomed in hopes you feel the excitement of a nice cold drink on a warm spring day! Even though the infamous Hollywood Tower of Terror is in the picture, it is merely a costar to the actual star of the picture.. the spiked frozen drink! That drink is the main attraction of this layout, that is what I wanted you to remember from this design. When framing this picture I could have gotten extremely close up and focused on the drink.. but I wanted to set the Tower of Terror in the background so we look at this layout we can picture ourself right back in that same spot sipping on a cold drink in Hollywood Studios.

Instead of using red as a supporting color I chose to use yellow as a highlight to the main star of the picture… the cold drink! I used the VersaMark watermark ink stamp to stamp a background pattern on the blue paper. Same ink different paper, and look at the difference. It made a dark blue image. I stamped the frozen ice cream image in yellow ink and colored it in with a yellow waterbed marker because I wanted a bold look. Used a Tombow water based brush pen similar to the one pictured below. They do have a blender pen available to soften the colors and blend almost pencil or paint like. You can purchase these pens individually or in sets.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens
Stamps from Social Paper Plan

This picture of the Hollywood Tower of Terror was taken maybe a foot to the left from the above picture! I took a Twilight-esque approach to this layout since the whole concept of this ride is developed from the Twilight Zone series. If you are older like I am, Twilight Zone was watched regularly at home.. can you recall the opening sequence when items are almost floating around in blackness? Same concept as these hotel and Mickey silhouettes are floating around on the paper. I stamped these images in a black ink and used the Tombow markers to color them in. I used two shades and the blender pen to mimic the outside of the hotel. Stamp set form Social Paper Plan

Stamp Set from Social Paper Plan
Social Paper Plan TN Layout

Now if we were at Disney World, Galaxy’s Edge would be at Hollywood Studios, but this particular picture was taken at the Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge. The futuristic colors of metal, carved stone and steel are used throughout this land. No bright colors at all, no balloons, no Disney logos on the cups, or food, or anything to remind you that you are at a Disney theme park. You are literally transformed when you enter this land to Batu! For this layout, you guessed it… I used the VersaMark watermark ink pad! I stamped it on this sage green paper and it gave me the most perfect shade of darker green to work with. For the stamped images I colored them in and fussy cut them out. I used the same watercolored pencils as in the Animal Kingdom layout except I did not use the water to activate the colors, I left them as is.

Stamps from Social Paper Plan

If you have ever been to Epcot you know the big golf ball in front know as Spaceship Earth is the icon of the whole park! It is the first thing you see when you enter, and the last thing you see when you exit the park. The big golf ball on any given day can look blue, grey, purple, pink, depending on what time of day it is and what kind of sunset Florida gives you. On this evening I was fortunate enough to get a beautiful pink sunset! I used that wonderful VersaMark watercolor ink pad on this layout to stamp the round sphere on pink paper and it gave me a darker pink to work with. I could not resist adding a few iridescent embellishment to compliment the perfect beams of light shining on Spaceship Earth.

I hope this helps you create out of the box layouts when documenting your Disney trips. That one ink pad yielded how many different colors for me? Yep! It is a must have in your craft arsenal. Now do not get me wrong, I do use those traditional Disney colors when I need too! For more ideas please follow along on Instagram @socialpaperplan. I have tagged all of the products I used in hopes it helps you find everything easier.

Have fun documenting your travels.

Tina

2021 Journal

Have you chosen a new journal for the year yet? It can be any journal, notebook, or set of papers you have. If journaling is something new to you, start off with something simple, something that you may already have on hand, until you find out what you need your journal to do.

If you want to be more creative in your journal you will want something that can withstand more mediums. Will you be using ink, glue, markers? All of these should be taken under consideration. Can your paper withstand the ink bleed throughs? Will the following pages have shadowing? Sometimes the paper will be able to hold the ink so it does not bleed through to the opposite side of the paper.

Next, I would decide what you will be using your journal for? Daily brain dump, creative outlet, emotional therapy, daily documentation? Knowing how you want your journal to serve you will help you in the set up of your journal. You can always change the use of your journal, you will soon discover better ways your journal can serve you.

The best thing about having a journal is that you don’t have to follow any rules! Some days I choose to just write down my thoughts for the day, and other days I choose to use stickers, stamps, inks, markers, and my favorite… COLOR!! Color always translates my mood best. I can instantly look at the colors I used for that day and interpret what I was feeling or what I wanted to convey journalling.

Some days might not have much to document, or you might not have much to say, those days exist. I still log in a journal entry. You can doodle, stamp an image and color it in, add some stickers, and call it a day. The beauty of a creative journal unlike a handmade card, or memory keeping layout is the page does not have to match. Most likely on a scrapbook page, or planner page they are unwritten rules that people tend to follow. Do the colors compliment each other? Are the proportions correct? Does it look aesthetically pleasing? All of these are considered. When journaling its more freeing of those unwritten rules. You can see a journal entry with colors that clash, mediums that would not normally go together, in spaces that are not common and its perfect!

The stickers don’t have to coordinate, the ink does not have to match, the lines don’t have to meet. Once you free yourself from the rules, journaling will become effortless. You will notice it more as a therapy session when creating your entry for the day. Of course, if matching colors are you, or if you cannot write unless it’s straight, you do you! You make your own rules in your journal. Your journal is there to help you destress, live more freeing, abandon all rules, and help you clear your mind.

I hope you find your reason to begin a journal. I will be listing some of my favorite items to help you get started on your journal journey.

Stalogy

Hobonichi

Archer & Olive

Tombow Pen

Mildliners

Stickers