Welcome One and All to the Design Team Feature!

Are you ready for all the not-so-secrety-secrets from one of our top Design Team Members? Then you’re in the right place!

We’re so happy you could join us for the announcement of our featured design team member for the beautiful month of April:

Natalie Strand!

As one of our DCC launch team originals, she has been instrumental to the growth of our community and one of the most talented individuals we’ve had the pleasure to work with.

Natalie may be one of our top Design Team Members, but she is no one-trick-pony! No, ma’am – this astrophysicist and garden-whisperer has many talents indeed (I’m not kidding! Dr. Strand finished her PhD in astrophysics in 2009, wrote her research dissertation on local galaxy environments of quasi-stellar objects, and has been blogging about her journey with gardening since 2007)! Think you can guess her favorite activity outside of scrapbooking???

 

 

In addition to scrapbooking, sewing is a huge passion hobby for me. I’m wearing one of my handmade dresses (a Belle Disneybound!) in the photo, and this particular day was one of the highlights of an already amazing trip!

 

 

 

I was jaw-dropped seeing the evidence of her skills at sewing! And not just any pedestrian “sewing” – but, like, really, really, really good sewing! Can you believe she made this adorable dress for a Disney trip?! I can’t – I literally can not — handle what I am seeing; it’s all too perfectly coordinated and gorgeous!

But we can’t talk about dressing for Disney without getting into the details of why. Why put in so much effort into coordinating an outfit for Disney, scrapbooking Disney, and being a Disney Design Co. Design Team Member?! Why, why, why?!

There’s something special about the magic of Disney. I took a few trips to Walt Disney World when I was younger (and I have great memories from them!), but my delight with Disney parks really began when I was an adult in 2016. At that time, my two children were very young, and I didn’t know how much they would enjoy the trip. However, it was even better than I could have imagined!

Seeing it all through my daughter’s eyes was probably the most magical part of our time there.

She was right smack in the middle of imagining that the princesses were her constant companions every day, so when she got to meet them “for real,” it was amazing. I was so impressed with the total immersion in magic and happiness during that trip, and I was hooked. We don’t go to the parks every year, but it is our hope to be able to take a trip every few years!

Do you remember that moment when you experienced the true magic of Disney? That moment where happiness didn’t look like happiness; it looked like something transcendent of happiness? To experience Disney magic through a child’s eyes… I envy Natalie and her rare opportunity to do so with her daughter! This 2016 trip must have been a legendary trip to have so many incredible moments! But we all know you can’t leave a Disney park empty handed! Natalie’s take-away was something she could enjoy each and every day.

In preparing for that trip in 2016, I discovered the concept of Disneybounding, and it has added a new level of fun to my everyday life. The basic idea is that a person chooses a particular character or theme and selects an outfit that evokes that idea – without actually dressing up in a costume. You might select garments in the character’s signature colors and wear accessories that reference elements or icons in that character’s storyline. Over the past few years, it has had a definite impact on my everyday outfits – even when I’m not in the parks! I love the fresh and bright color combinations, and it has changed how I look at my wardrobe. When I go to the parks, it adds a whole new level of fun! For our trip in 2020, I sewed myself a vintage-inspired Disneybounding wardrobe (mostly dresses!), and it was the icing on the cake of an amazing trip. Cast members and characters recognized my outfits, commented on them, and it made everything even more magical.

#I’mStealingThat, am I right?! Sign me up for anything #Disneybound-ing because I am enthralled thanks to you, Natalie! My next Disney trip is going to be so coordinated and chic! If I had seven days, I would probably theme each day after (and in this order): Princess Eilonwy, Madame de la Grande Bouche, Georgette, Duchess, Disgust, Vanellope von Schweetz, and Princess Eilonwy (because she’s the best Disney character in the world – it’s a proven fact). Natalie, you are officially being commissioned to help me coordinate some spectacular, jaw-dropping, “I-am-living-for-this” outfits to help bring some love to some of the most underrated Disney characters. If a cast member at the park says to me, “Oh, what a pity. I was so hoping for someone who could help me escape. Oh, well, if you want to come with me, you may,” while I’m wearing a Princess Eilonwy inspired dress, I will literally just lie down and die a happy woman between the Morocco and France pavilions in Epcot; someone will need to haul their butt across the park to Mexico for some tequila to wake me up from this pinnacle moment of my life!!!

Psssssst! See if you can name all the movies referenced by my characters in the comments below, and tell us how you would theme seven days at a Disney park if you were #Disneybounding!

Many of my favorite scrapbook pages document our Disney parks adventures, and those albums are some of my favorite projects to create. I am savoring the opportunity to tell all of the stories of our magical adventures!

And we are savoring the opportunity that she has grabbed a fastpass for the DCC Design Team and is along with us for the ride! She has already created so many fantastic and detailed pages for DCC, so definitely check them out and give her some love over on the Gallery when you get the chance!

But, what would you say if I asked you what your favorite, SINGLE scrapbook page is?! Would you struggle immensely to answer? Would you roll your eyes at me for asking a question we both know the answer to – “All of them! I love them ALL, I say!” Well, Natalie, in her patience with my difficult questions, did in fact choose a single scrapbook page that contains all of her love, craft, and Disney-magic to boot!

I would not call myself a typical pocket-page scrapbooker, but as I add to my Disney albums, I find that pocket layouts are the perfect home to combine several stories that don’t need whole layouts of their own.

In contemplating this, a central tenant of Natalie’s work, and indeed the heart and soul of scrapbooking, became abundantly clear: scrapbook pages are a safe space where our most precious memories, stories, and moments are stored to stand the test of time while, simultaneously, reflecting our own creativity, individuality, and perceptions of those experiences. Natalie’s work provides an expert demonstration on how scrapbookers can use this precious space as a story-telling stage should they choose to.

If you have seen my scrapbooking projects, you know that I think journaling is really important, and often I actually do have a lot of words to add. However, in the case of a layout like this, where it is telling some in-between tidbits in a larger story (the whole album!), a list was a perfect way to include some brief thoughts. The journaling here is contained to one 3×4 card (from an old Project Life core kit). I had a lot of little photos describing a few of the attractions we enjoyed right after our lunch that day, and so I used a list format to include just a few details. Once I had my journaling in place, I decided to simply place and enjoy embellishing around the photos.

How important do you think it is to include journaling in your scrapbook pages? Is it a fundamental piece of the page? A nuanced addition to provide context? What about a large portion of your page dedicated to journaling, harkening back to pages from the early 2000s? Or do you take a reserved approach and let your pictures speak their thousand words? For Natalie, it certainly depends on the format!

 

 

 

I love to use scraps – and I also love to use smaller scale paper pads. For this one, I used the Shimelle “Never Grow Up” 6×8 paper pad and the Shimelle “Glitter Girl” 6×6 paper pad in addition to some off-cuts of paper from recent projects.

 

 

 

 

 

Scraps! It’s almost like the word “scrapbooking” perhaps implies its origins! Haha! I’m being sarcastic — that one is obvious — but I appreciate Natalie’s reverence for the foundations of scrapbooking itself. Although a massive industry with a massive market, scrapbooking is ultimately about taking what you have, the scraps, and making something unique and memorable from it to further communicate a story, mood, or feeling behind photographs. You are limited not by what products you have, but by your creativity in using them. Natalie does so with this page, describing how she creates the dimensional effects.

 

 

The flowers are detail-cut from a Shimelle “Starshine” floral paper and stickers from the Shimelle #stickerbook; I put the stickers onto plain scrap cardstock and cut around them so that I could use foam behind them for dimension. In the midst of the embellishment clusters, I included a number sticker to coordinate with the journaling. I didn’t want them to stand out too much, but I did want them to be noticeable, so I added gold heart stickers from the #stickerbook as a little shiny glint to attract the eye.

These minor details are in fact not-so-minor. Natalie is attuned with page layouts, designs, and details in such a way that she can predict the ways your eyes move through the page – the sign of a true craftsman and expert! This level of detail and mastery of the scrapbooking craft is exactly why we signed her on to our Design Team, and we could not be more proud and honored to display her works of art!

Unfortunately, we don’t get Natalie all to ourselves; when she’s not being a fantastic mother, scrapbooker, sewer, or Disney fan, her adventures and work can be found on her Instagram, @natalie.strand, or you might spot her over on her blog at https://vegetablog.wordpress.com/.

Thank you for being a phenomenal member of our team, Natalie, and for bringing your love of Disney and scrapbooking into perfect harmony here at Disney Creative Co.!

*Supplies from Page:

  • patterned paper: Shimelle “Never Grow Up” 6×8 paper pad, Shimelle “Glitter Girl” 6×6 paper pad, Shimelle “Starshine: Mercury” (from the 12×12 paper pad)
  • embellishments: flower, heart stickers–Shimelle #stickerbook
  • number stickers: Project Life Clementine Edition
  • alphas: Shimelle #stickerbook
  • journaling card: Project Life Jade Edition
  • pocket page protector: Becky Higgins Design G