Scrapbook Layout: Home from the Honeymoon

Honeymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHoneymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHoneymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: Our first night home after our Honeymoon.  Read the Picture Story here.

Another Wedding Layout not in the Wedding Scrapbook: By the time I finished scrapbooking our honeymoon in the wedding scrapbook, I was d-o-n-e.  I knew I wanted to tell this story but saved it for another time.  It’s sort of a “return to regular life” layout and that story is better told here in our “regular life” scrapbook.

Inspiration: This layout by Geralyn Sy (original post here).  The photos I worked with weren’t of great quality, and I like how the borders of patterned paper really popped them.

Hand-Drawn Hawaii: Well, more like traced (method here), but I was going for a hand-drawn look.  At the last minute, I added the dashes by hand to make it look Indiana Jones-esque.

Honeymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Klinic Slab Bold | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: American Crafts/Amy Tangerine/Get Around, American Crafts/Chap/Mike, Crate Paper/Storyteller/ Tomorrow, Webster’s Pages/Clean & Simple/Sunday Picnic/Poppy Fields (papers) | Ephemera: Business cards, greeting card, employee discount card.

Picture Story: Leftover Wine

Picture Story by Natalie Parker

After several hours of traveling we were finally home.


After several months of feverish wedding planning, deciding to change jobs a month before the wedding, making all of our favors, decorations, and playlists, welcoming our family to town, having a rehearsal, getting ready, getting married, having a reception, dancing, late night hot dog run, up early the next morning, on a flight to Hawaii, checking out volcanoes, having a little beach time, taking a boat tour, going out to dinner, looking at the stars, hiking on the coast, trying to figure out where to return the rental car, back through security, back on planes, shuttle to the parking lot, in the car, Mr. P deciding at the last minute to carry me inside, we were finally home.  Exhausted.

After so much happening, it was peaceful to be home in the quiet.  Together.

We came home to find out parents had hung up leftover flowers to dry, stacked leftover wine in the garage, put leftover wedding cake in the fridge, and stacked our gifts and leftover favors nicely in the living room.  As orderly as anything could have been.

And so, on our first night of married life finally home, we popped open some leftover wine from the reception, curled up on the couch, and tucked into some KFC we picked up on the way home.

Sometimes you just need popcorn chicken.  Sometimes that’s just about perfect.

Picture Story is a new feature where I take a picture from an upcoming layout and tell its story.  Stay tuned for the layout featuring this story.  

My New Blog Design

Hi, my name is . . .  new blog design.  If you are visiting from yonder lands such as blog readers or email, click over to my homepage to check it out.

I’m not finished yet, but I’m launching anyway.  If I waited until everything was perfect, I’m sure life would get in the way.  I’ll keep you updated as new things are added — I have some really exciting plans to showcase content and make finding things much easier.

Organized Categories

Check out the new category list on the right sidebar (click through to the homepage to see it).  I rejiggered the categories and recategorized all 400+ posts.

How this was Designed

All I’ve ever wanted was a very simple clean blog design and I’m really happy that it’s here!  I used the Blog Design Love 2.0 course as an impetus and jumping off point, but coded many of the things you see here myself.  I’ll be writing up a review of the course and my thoughts on coding very soon.

Plans for Future Content

My tagline at the top now incorporates travel.  Incidentally, writing a tagline is hard if you want something other than “I write about stuff.”

This is still primarily going to be a memory keeping and crafty blog.  However, I want my writing to be a creative outlet in and of itself rather than simply writing about a creative outlet.  I enjoy writing the travel posts.  When I enjoy the writing, the writing is better.

Travel has become a big part of my life since I started blogging.  Back then, I had just left the country for the first time.  I’ve spent a lot of time searching for other people’s insights en route to becoming a world traveler so I will pay it forward.

New bloggers are always admonished: “stick to your niche!!”  Just like I scrapbook the way I want to, I’m going to break the rules a bit and inch outside my niche.  You’ll see me adding a couple more personal things, especially if you follow me on social media.  This is not a personal blog, but I haven’t sorted out exactly what the future is.  It will continue to evolve.

If you have comments or there is something you’d like to see more of, I’m all ears!  Or eyes, rather, given that this is on a screen.

Away we go!

scrapbook layout: eighth anniversary

Anniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAnniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAnniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAnniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Another year for us has passed and it’s time for me to make a new scrapbook layout to remember the day we were married.

The Story: Every anniversary we take a picture and I make a new layout to go in the wedding scrapbook.  More on the process here.  I include the business card for where we ate dinner plus a small bit of writing about the day.

Getting the Perfect Photo: I was smart this year and tried to break reminded myself how to use the tripod the night before.  The best photo of us had a guy running through it on the side of the frame.  I removed him by clipping out a piece from one of the other photos.

Guest Book Cards, Remembering those who have Left Us: Every year, I choose one of the messages our friends and family wrote to us on our wedding day and include it in the new layout.  In the last couple of years, I’ve chosen the card from someone who has since passed away.  It hasn’t been that long since our wedding day and I’m struck by how quickly people can leave us and how quickly time marches on.  I’m glad I can record something from them.

Previously: See layouts for anniversaries one through six here and number seven here.

Anniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

For more information on the rest of the book and supplies, visit my Wedding Scrapbook Page

Fonts: Garamond | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photo), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos), DCWV Silver & Pearl Shimmer Stock, SEI White Elegance Tiara | Keepsakes Included: Restaurant business card, guest book card.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

my new notebook

Covered Notebook by Natalie ParkerCovered Notebook by Natalie Parker

Inspired by Elise’s action book, I purchased a new notebook to keep track of my creative ideas and tasks.  I used to keep ideas for this blog scattered in a bunch of documents and notepads.  My scrapbook sketches were usually done on scratch paper and post-it notes.  Then I would lose things.

I bought a Blueline Business Notebook, which has dividers so I can keep sections on my blog, scrapbook, and other items.  The book has grid paper inside, which is great for making lists and drawings.  As you know, I can’t draw a straight line so I passed on blank page books. I’ve been using it off and on for a few weeks.

Realizing that I’m more likely to use it if it’s pretty-looking, I covered it with some fuzzy paper from Paper Source (no longer in stock) that I had in my stash. I used the same notebook covering method described in this post.

Sort of.  I took a detour.

Since I had been talking about how great Avery glue sticks are, I thought shouldn’t I be able to save time and just use a glue stick for this project?  Wrong.  Just for you, dear readers, I took one for the team and tested it using a glue stick.  It just didn’t do a great job of holding the paper firmly around the sides.  No matter, I was able to fix it by adding Mod Podge (like I was supposed to!) and all is well.

Results so far?  The book is holding up very well and I love having all of my notes in one place!

Covered Notebook by Natalie Parker

scrapbook layout: happily ever after

Happily Ever After Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHappily Ever After Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHappily Ever After Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: We got married.

Wait, this IS a Wedding Layout: Yep, it is and it isn’t in our wedding scrapbook.  I love context (see here, here, and here).  I couldn’t make a 2006 scrapbook without a reference to our wedding.  It adds context to the other events that year.  It looks literally like a reference — just a small layout to note the event.

Project Life-Style Card: I’m experimenting again with Project Life-style title cards.  I designed this one and cut it using the Silhouette and added the little flag with the date.

Shimmer Stock: I’m excited for any project that helps me use up my stash (more like a bunker) of shimmer stock that I bought for the wedding scrapbook.

Happily Ever After Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Ostrich Sans | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photo), Silhouette SD (headline card) | Supplies: Die Cuts with a View Pearl Shimmer Stock, Reflections Craft Cardstock (papers).

traveling with a camera

Traveling with a Camera by Natalie Parker

I’ve been mulling a lot about traveling with a camera.

I’ve had my DSLR for a bit now and have taken it on a few trips.  It’s been on short trips in and out of the country as well as one long trip to Antarctica.  I’m starting to wonder whether I need another camera to add to my arsenal.

I used to carry around a pretty cheap point and shoot.  We upgraded to the DSLR because Mr. P was tired of seeing me attempting artsy shots with a cheap camera.  The DSLR takes beautiful photos.

However, the DSLR is also a lug to carry around.  Getting it out of my bag when we’re traveling makes me think twice about whether it’s worth getting a shot (which is no bueno in my mind).  I loved being able to whip out the point and shoot to get a shot that was quick and unobtrusive.  I also loved the option of carrying a smaller bag.  One of my worst fears in life is schlepping.*

Handling the camera with cold weather gear was challenging in Antarctica.  Despite the photo below (wherein Mr. P told me I couldn’t possibly use the DSLR when wearing 2 layers of gloves), I handed off camera duties for most of the trip.

Traveling with a Camera by Natalie Parker

In my trip to Oregon recently, I left the camera at home and used my phone.  That was great for a quick weekend, but not doable for a longer trip.

Perhaps a higher quality point and shoot is needed to fill this void?  I’m leaning that way.  But I fear having that option will make me eschew the DSLR and since I bought the damn thing, I’m determined to get my money’s worth.

Somewhere there has to be a balance between quality and the schlep factor.

Your thoughts?  What camera do you use to travel?

*If you ask me what worries me about parenthood, I will always (naively, because I don’t know what’s coming to me) say that I don’t want to have to carry around a ton of stuff in order to leave the house.

scrapbook layout: wedding prep

Wedding Prep Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerWedding Prep Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerWedding Prep Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: In the months leading up to our wedding, we revisited some of our favorite places to take pictures to use in our photo centerpieces.  I had these photos saved and wanted to document them in a layout.

Inspiration: This photo collage at Creature Comforts.  It’s not a scrapbook layout but I loved the two-column design.

Why is this not in the Wedding Scrapbook?  This is another “ancillary” wedding layout — something that is wedding-related that I want to remember but didn’t put in the wedding scrapbook.  I want to remember this more for visiting the places rather than the fact that we used the photos for the wedding.  Still, it made sense to keep them together in one layout.

Project Life Card? I don’t do Project Life but I am inspired by the techniques and supplies.  I designed this card as the headline for the layout.  I like how it breaks out of the mold of my normal Silhouette-cut headline look.  The RGB numbers for the gold color are 255, 202, 51 if you’d like to replicate it on your own printer.

Scrapbooking On the Go: No, I still don’t scrapbook on the road.  But, I designed this layout when I was on a trip.  Something about being away from home for a while gets the creative juices flowing.  I had this completely planned and the page made itself when I came home.

Wedding Prep Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Lavanderia, Klinic Slab Book | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos, headline card).


Cross-Stitching by Natalie Parker

I’ve taken up cross-stitching again.

I learned when I was 11 or 12 from my mom.  She was a fierce cross-stitcher before she moved onto quilting.  It’s been a couple decades (thereabouts) since I’ve cross-stitched.

I’ve been hankering to try it again but a few things held me back.  I could never find a pattern I liked.  I’m too practical — I won’t make something I wouldn’t consider hanging in my home.  I didn’t need animals, kids, houses, mansions, landscapes, unicorns, Edward Cullen, etc.  My crafting time is also limited and it is almost all devoted to scrapbooking.

Then I had a creative drought with my scrapbook.  I had to leave it alone and work on something else.  Suddenly there was room for something else creative!  I flipped through patterns on Etsy tirelessly but nothing was quite right (in the event I have a child, I know where to get tons of cute Star Wars patterns).  I discovered Pic 2 Pat and made my own pattern.  It took a while and I almost didn’t finish it.  But the scrapbook doldrums persisted so I pressed on.

I picked up my DMC threads the other day and got started.  I’m totally thrilled!  It’s fun to have a project I can work on when I’m curled up on the couch.

The finished product should be in the 16×20-inch range (theoretically, we’ll see if I used Pic 2 Pat correctly).  I’m not going to hurry through it and estimate it will take me at least several months if not a year to finish.  But working on it is starting to soothe my creative issues.  YES.

Scrapbook Layout: Almost Married

Almost Married Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAlmost Married Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: Documenting two things we did together right before our wedding.  They aren’t wedding-related, but when I think back to them, I always think about us sitting at the top of the rollercoaster — that calm time right before everything goes wedding crazypants.  The concert tickets are for the band that played our first dance song.  The song is pretty obscure and we were thrilled when they played it at the concert.  We listened, held hands, and took it all in.  Such a great moment.

Why is this not in the Wedding Scrapbook? This is the first of some “ancillary” wedding scrapbook layouts that didn’t make it into the wedding scrapbook.  I wanted to keep the wedding scrapbook strictly wedding-event only.  Plus, it is too massive as it is.  Since planning our wedding was all-consuming in 2006, there will be more wedding-related bits filling out this book.  View my wedding scrapbook here.

Movie PosterI used Google Images to find a nice copy of the poster and printed it with my photo printer.  I did something similar for my 2005 News page and my 2004 Intro page.

Almost Married Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: I forgot to write down which font I used :( | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (poster), Silhouette SD (headline) | Ephemera: concert tickets.