Thursday, July 30, 2015

Taiwan Travel Mini // Part I

The number of travel minis I want to make is getting a bit out of hand, so I decided to start with my most recent trip for my latest mini-book project. Thanks to a photo print sale at Costco, I got all my Taiwan photos printed and ready for this album about a week after my trip - probably a personal record! This was a fun project to put together - manageable in size since it was only a four day trip - with plenty of photos and memorabilia to document.

Aside from the album (a black 6x8 Project Life album), I didn't buy anything in particular for this project. I made good use of my stash of leftovers from my Studio Calico kits, Kelly Purkey stamp sets, and of course, my own printables. I'll point things out here and there, but if you have specific questions, let me know in the comments and I'll try my best to answer them.

I decided to go with an unconventional route for my mini-book title page. I loved the front cover of a tourism brochure I picked up in Taipei, so I simply cut it out to use as the start of my album. It's about 3.75x8.25", so it was the perfect size and worked well as a sort of divider.

I simply backed it with patterned paper (so that it would be less flimsy), added a little October Afternoon tabbed sticker, and punched holes on the side.
On the back side of the divider, I adhered a print-out of Taipei's metro map and created a pocket with patterned paper so I could insert some extra business cards I picked up during my trip.

I didn't want to jump right into my travel spreads yet with only a divider page as a title, so I created this 6x8 page. It was actually a paper bag from Anthropologie that I fell in love with and re-purposed here. I cut out the letters for 'TAIWAN' with my Silhouette Cameo and adhered a copper label and chipboard star underneath it to complete my page. The stamps I used are retired sets from Studio Calico (the date) and Kelly Purkey (the phrase).

On the left, I started my album with the reason for this trip. I always like jotting this down at the beginning of a travel mini to remember why and how an adventure began. I stamped the dates with some cute numbers from Kelly Purkey's Love List stamp. The washi tape and little tickets are all stationery I bought in Japan.

I documented our hotel on the left side, and the right side is a 6x8 page protector with a bunch of 2" pockets detailing our meet up with my relatives. I love using this configuration when I have a lot of photos and stories. It's also really fun to embellish!
I saved a business card from the hotel we stayed at, so I simply attached it to some patterned paper with a paper clip and added a big label with a tiny bit of embellishing. I collect all sorts of memorabilia on my trip, and I love sorting through them when I get home and deciding which bits and pieces to include in my album.

The back side of the 2" pocket page configuration holds more photos and notes. I used a journaling card from my Wander no.1 Cards to jot down some highlights about the night. And yes, another business card - this time, from the restaurant we ate at. We started our Taiwan trip off with an 8 course meal...nothing better than that!

The last event for our first day in Taiwan was a visit to the Shilin night market. The journaling cards I used here are both from past Studio Calico kits. It feels good to make a dent in my kit leftovers and use up these supplies since many are things that I love and have been waiting for the perfect project to use them on!

I'll be back with Day 2/Part II of my album soon. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Travel Tuesday no.26 // Maui

Travel Tuesday is back! I realized the other day that the most recent one I did was months ago, of my last trip in 2014 (Seattle), and I haven't shared any photos of my adventures this year yet. So I'm starting this series up again with a family trip I took to Hawaii back in March. If it seems like Hawaii overload on the blog at the moment, don't worry - I plan on sharing the first part of my Taiwan travel mini later this week so stay tuned for that.

This was my very first time going to Hawaii! We started our trip off in Maui and spent about four days here, just chilling and exploring the island. I haven't gone on a beach vacation in a while so it was a nice change of pace to take the days slow and keep things low-key. We also practiced a lot of patience since it is very different traveling with a three year old and a nine month old. There were a lot of activities and long drives we didn't do, choosing instead to stick to areas close to our resort and to enjoy the sunshine and the waters.
Napili Bay was one of my favorite places and we spent our first afternoon hanging out here at the beach. The water was absolutely pristine and it felt so nice to take a dip since the sun was shining directly overhead at one point, making the sand feel incredibly hot. We also ate at the Sea House restaurant by the beach which had really friendly service and great food.
We visited Lahaina twice, our first time being after our sailing trip to Lanai (I'll leave that one for a separate post). There were a lot of beautiful art galleries there, as well as local shops and various restaurants. The famous banyan tree was a fun place to take photos at! My nephew loved running around under the giant tree.
I had to try out Ululani's shave ice after hearing rave reviews. It was so delicious I had it twice during our stay in Maui :) I have to say it was my favorite shave ice that we ate - even compared to the ones we tried in Oahu.

One of our afternoons was spent at Maui Ocean Center, which was fairly small but had some pretty nice exhibits. We mainly went for the kids but it was a great experience for all of us. I loved seeing the baby sea turtles and the sharks.

We went to Lahaina a second time in the late afternoon on our way back to our resort and had dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise, which had a beautiful views of the ocean and pretty decent burgers. Yum. 
On our last day before going to the airport, we took a detour to Iao Valley. It was so scenic and the ever shifting fog made the area seem somewhat ethereal as we wandered and took in the beautiful views. We also stopped by the Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens where we learned a bit about Hawaii's various immigrants. My parents were particularly interested in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen area which had quite detailed information on his life in Hawaii. I thought that was pretty cool because my knowledge of Chinese history is very limited and I had no idea he even lived here. I'm glad we made a stop here before heading to catch our plane to Honolulu!

I have a few more Hawaii travel posts to write up, and then some more recent trips to share. Even though this trip happened months ago, I love looking back at these photos and reminiscing about our adventures. That's one of my favorite things about photography and memory keeping. Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me. Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Project Life: Documenting Maui

The other day, I shared two Project Life spreads I made to summarize my Hawaii trip in my PL album and today, I'm talking a little bit about how my Maui spread came together. Project Life has become my primary method of memory keeping these days, and I love putting together these spreads to record snippets of my life. Though I save my travels for separate mini-books of their own, I always include some summary spreads in my Project Life too, so as not to have any time-period gaps in my album and to remember when a trip happened in the context of a given year. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share my process of putting together a spread that summarizes our days in Maui! Here we go.

I always start with choosing my photos, keeping the design A page protector in mind (it's my go-to page protector for my Project Life spreads). We took tons of photos during the trip, but I just picked a couple of my favorites since this is simply an overview of the time we spent in Maui. I printed these at home using an Epson workforce printer. Here, I also used a few of my Hawaii digital stamps on my 4x6 beach photo before printing it out.

Once I had my photos printed and cut out, I laid them out on a design A page protector to get a feel for how the spread was starting to look.

My next step was choosing journaling cards to go with my photos. This part was pretty simple since I used my new Hawaii printable cards and Wander printable cards and the colors already coordinated with each other. I laid a couple of the cards out and rearranged a few of the photos so that the spread would be more balanced. I also picked one of my instax photos I took during the trip and adhered it to a journaling card with washi tape for the top right pocket.

I like to keep my Project Life spreads relatively flat, so little tabs and die-cuts are the perfect way to embellish to my spreads a little. I had printed and cut out my Wander Elements no.2 printables and chose some of the tabs to add to my photos and journaling cards. I used my favorite Muji pen to write some quick notes.

I wanted to add some stamping to my Project Life spread as well. I pulled out some Kelly Purkey stamps and stamped on my journaling card and directly on my photo (I print my photos on Epson Premium Glossy photo paper and have no problems stamping directly on it with Versafine onyx black ink).

My last step is always journaling. I jotted down some highlights about Maui on the 'aloha state' printable card and then called this done!

Here's a look at my spread again. My process is quite straightforward; to sum it up: (1) print photos, (2) choose journaling cards, (3) stamp & embellish, and (4) add journaling. Thanks for coming by :)
Supplies - Page Protector: Becky Higgins Design A; Printables - Hawaii Journaling Cards no.1, Hawaii Journaling Cards no.2, Wander Journaling Cards no.1, Wander Elements no.2; Digital Stamps - Hawaii Digital Stamps; Stamps - Kelly Purkey; Ink - Versafine; Washi Tape - MT; Pen - Muji