A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Hollywood, Pandora & Dinoland

More layouts from our trip to Florida last year.

This is one of my favourites so far. Lots of lovely Basic Grey and a huge photo. Next is one from Dinoland in Animal Kingdom. I love that they give you real props to hold sometimes instead of just doing magic shots to get some added interest. I used mostly BG Archaic for this. It has dinosaurs on some of the paper. Finally one from Pandora, the new land in Animal Kingdom. We took lots of photos there as well as getting lots of Photopass ones. This is one of the magic shots with a Banshee added in afterwards. I used some very old paper on this one.



Dinosaurs, Spaceship Earth and Halloween

More scrapbooked photos from our 2017 trip to Florida.

There are dinosaurs scattered about in Dinoland and it’s a tradition for us to pose with them. Lots of lovely BG Archaic. It’s perfect for Dinoland photos. Next is one of my favourite layouts so far, and a rare double. More old paper being used up! Finally two MNSSHP layouts.  I did the first one as a single but decided to do the second one with the same papers so it could go on the facing page. Despite the colours looking completely different, they do match. I take the photos on a desk by the window to get natural light, but it had started snowing by the time I took the second one so the light was different.

Layouts inspired by Shimelle’s A most magical scrapbook class.


Dino bones, dogs & pretty colours

I’ve done another three Disney ’17 layouts. The first one is photos taken in Dinoland with the Dino bones magic shot. We tried every time we went to Animal Kingdom to get these pics and finally got them near the end of our holiday.Next is one using photos from the show/parade in the Magic Kingdom. Lots of colour in the photos so they were fun to scrap.

Finally, another one from the Safari at Animal Kingdom. One of the areas has painted dogs during the day and Hyenas in the evening for the night-time safaris. We got quite a few decent pics of the painted dogs this time, although none of the hyenas.


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Mike Wazowski & Beetlejuice

Before I went on holiday this year, I noticed that one of my friends, who had just come back from Disney World, was already scrapping her holiday photos. She’d signed up for an online class by Shimelle, called A most magical scrapbook. The class is Shimelle scrapping her own Disney World photos, with lots of videos and so many tips plus sketches for each day of the class.

I’ve had to wait to make a start on mine, partly because I needed to go on holiday first, to get the photos, and partly because I wanted to finish the Alaska/Rockies album first. In the meantime, I’ve been sorting, printing and organising photos. I’ve printed the PDFs for each day of the class and was finally ready to start scrapping.

My usual style is quite plain. In the past I’ve bought lots of embellishments but didn’t use that many. I have tons of ribbons, flowers, chipboard, brads etc and I’m determined to start using it up. I also have a lot of patterned paper, which is another thing that I’ve struggled to use. Shimelle uses lots of pretty paper and is brilliant at using embellishments without overwhelming the photos. I’m planning to use the classes to start scrapping a bit more like Shimelle and eventually finding a new style that I’m comfortable with. Does that make sense?

Anyway, less of the chatter. How about looking at my first two layouts for my Disney 2017 album!

This is the first one that I did. It’s influenced by the classes but isn’t any particular one. I remembered that I used to like using the tags that came with some of the Basic Grey packs so I pulled some out and this is the result.

Hollywood Studios – Mike Wazowski magic shot

And look, there’s actual journalling on it. Not hand-written though. I can’t bring myself to do that. Instead I’ve found a nice handwriting-style font on my mac and am using that. I don’t do enough journalling, mostly because I hate my handwriting so this is working nicely so far. On the layout above it just tells the story of how we finally managed to get that particular magic shot.

The title is chipboard that I heat embossed. I’m chuffed with how it turned out because I haven’t done that for ages.

The other one that I’ve done so far is pretty much a scrap lift of one of the classes. I just happened to have that same sheet of cardstock lace from about ten years ago. I knew there was a reason that I bought it!

Beetlejuice at Universal Studios

The journalling just rambles on about how Beetlejuice is one of my favourite films.

I’ve really enjoyed making these two and can’t wait to do more. I’m so happy that I’ve got back into scrapbooking.


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WDW holiday, 10th Oct – Hollywood studios


We had a slightly later start this morning but we were at Pepper Market, the quick service restaurant at Coronado, by 8.30am. We had a nice breakfast there. I had pancakes and sausages and Stephen had a breakfast sandwich. Once we’d finished eating, we went for a stroll round the resort.

Coronado is split into three areas, all with different styles and landscaping. We’re in Casitas and are just a couple of minutes walk from the central area with the shop and eateries. The landscaping is lovely all around the resort. It’s a pretty place to walk around and we enjoyed having a little explore.

We had our FastPasses at Hollywood studios today but needed to pop to the Swan first to return our hire car. We needed a photo of it first though. It’s a holiday tradition.

From the Swan it was just a short boat ride to the Studios. We got there in plenty of time for our first FastPass on Tower of Terror. Stephen didn’t feel like riding it though so he sat in the shade while I went on by myself. I had a blast, but sadly the people in front of me had their hands in front of my face for the photo. We did get a magic shot with the balloons though. We had fun getting it done.

Next we went over to do the Muppet show and spotted a lonely photographer when we came out. He had no customers at all so we hijacked him to take some shots in front of the Muppet theatre. We asked if he had any magic shots and he walked us round the corner and took this one.That’s another one that I’ve been after so I was a happy bunny.

We were getting a bit peckish so had a bit of lunch at PizzoRizzo. We split a small pizza between us but had a dessert each. What can I say? It’s our last day and we needed a treat.

Next up was Toy Story Mania, which we love, and Stephen actually managed to beat my score this time. I’ve beat him every time on Men in Black, TSM and Buzz Lightyear apart from this time, so I guess I can let him have one win 😉

We spotted one last photographer taking pics with the Star Wars sign in the background so joined the queue. He took a few normal poses and then told us to do this.
We did have one more FP to use but we needed to get back as I wanted to take my time doing the packing. We have a very early start tomorrow as the Magical Express will be picking us up at 7.15am.

We got back to our room to find that housekeeping had been busy.So pretty!

We had a little relax before starting the packing and then Stephen hauled the suitcases out. I like that in this room, they fitted nicely under the bed so were out of the way. Packing, as usual, consisted of me organising and packing, while Stephen hovered waiting for instructions.

It took a while to get everything as ready as we could, and we were getting hungry so decided to walk over and get something to eat. We’d been eyeing up the table service restaurant here, the Maya Grill. It’s about a three minute walk from our room so we popped over and got a table.

It’s lovely inside and the menu is short but everything looked lovely. I had the beef short rib and Stephen had a pork chop. The flavours on both were delicious. My beef just fell apart and was excellent.

Back to our room after that and an early night, ready for departure in the morning.

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WDW holiday, 8th Oct – Coronado Springs


This morning we got up fairly early and packed everything up as it was time to leave the Royal Pacific. We’ve loved our stay there. It’s a beautiful hotel and all the staff are so friendly and helpful. The room was full of luxurious little touches but at the same time was cosy and comfortable. Add to that the short walk to the parks and having Express pass access to the rides, and it’s a great place to stay for a few nights.

It wasn’t quite time to go home though as we were off to Coronado Springs on Disney. It’s a resort that we haven’t stayed at before but I’d read great reviews of it and it looked and sounded lovely. On the way there, we stopped off at IHOP for breakfast. I had a pancake combo again but this time with chocolate pancakes with a mocha espresso filling/topping. It was yummy.

We checked into Coronado Springs just before noon. Our room was ready but the cast member asked us if we’d like one of the newly renovated rooms instead. I said that I’d like that very much and she said we’d have to wait up to an hour as housekeeping were still in there but that I’d get an email when it was ready.

We had a look around the central area while we waited and then drove over to the nearest car park to our room. The email came just after that and we unloaded the car. The room is lovely. It’s quite large and has a really nice bathroom area with lots of storage space in it. It looks like we got an upgrade too as we booked a standard room but have a preferred room. We got a decent coffee maker again, the same type as we had at Royal Pacific. There were plenty of USB charging points as well as standard sockets.

There is some construction going on at Coronado at the moment, which we knew about when we booked. We didn’t think it would impact us that much so we weren’t worried. I thought it was a nice touch that Disney left a little gift in our room because of it though.

We unpacked the essentials and drove over to Animal Kingdom to use our FastPasses. We went on Dinosaur and hammed it up for the photos again. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of that 😉

We found a photographer who was doing magic shots with the butterfly. We hadn’t found that one before so were quite chuffed. I do love the way Stephen really gets into it.We also found the magic shot for the Lion guard.We did the Safari and saw the Nemo show, which I love to bits, the Lion king show, also brilliant, and It’s fun to be a bug. At one point we walked over to Africa from Pandora, using the new path. It was a nice walk with a lovely view of Harambe as you approach it.

We had lunch in Satu’li canteen again. Stephen had the same as the last two times, the beef bowl, but I tried something different and had the cheeseburger bun, which was something a bit different and although not as yummy as the chicken bowl that I’ve been having, was still very nice.

When it got dark enough we headed over to Pandora as I’d been dying to see it lit up at night. It was beautiful. I didn’t attempt to take any photos, partly because it was raining a bit but we did get a couple of photos taken by the Photopass photographers.

I love this animated shot with the wood sprites.

After we’d had a good look round we headed back to our room to finish unpacking.

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WDW holiday, 6th Oct – Universal


We didn’t do early entry this morning. We’d planned to see what the weather was doing and see how we felt about getting up early. It doesn’t really make any difference to the rides this year as the Harry Potter rides both have Express pass, where last time they didn’t. Early entry was the best chance of going on those without a queue back then.

We did get out by 9am though and walked over to Islands of Adventure. The walking path to City Walk is lovely. It goes along the waterway and is all leafy and jungle-like. Very pretty. Islands of Adventure is very close to where the path comes out at City Walk so it’s not far at all.

We headed straight for a ride that’s new since our last visit here, Skull island: Reign of Kong. It was brilliant. The standby line was only ten minutes and they advised us to go that way as you miss the fun if you go in the Express line. It was really dark and things leap out at you, which made us jump. It was great! The ride itself was 3D with dinosaurs trying to eat you and a huge Kong attacking the dinosaurs. We loved it.

Next we went on the Spiderman ride. That was amazing when it was new but even that is starting to feel a bit dated with all the amazing new rides they’re bringing out. It was still good fun though.

We didn’t eat before we came out so headed for The croissant moon bakery for some breakfast. I really fancied one of the huge cheese danish and a coffee but was very sensible and had a breakfast burrito and water. Sometimes being sensible is very boring, even if the burrito was quite nice.

We walked up through Seuss landing after we ate and took a few photos before going on the Seuss trolley train ride. It’s very sedate, but lovely to sit and see the view from over the top of Seuss landing.

We carried on walking round and when we got to Hogsmeade, decided to take the train over to Universal. First stop there was Men In Black, where I beat Stephen’s score again 😉

Next was the Mummy ride, which was brilliant but I think it was a bit too much as my head started banging when we came off. It was very, very hot again and really humid so I think it was a combination of things. We decided to go back to our room and take a break and see if we fancied going back out again later.

After a couple of hours relaxing, we popped back to Universal Studios so we could go on Terminator. It’s one of our favourite rides, as we love the films, and it closes this week. We needed to say goodbye to it.

On our way into the park, we bumped into Tracey and family again and had a quick chat. We saw them twice more that afternoon too, which is amazing considering the size of the place.

We had a thirty minute wait before the last Terminator show so we had a cheese danish and a coffee. See, I got my danish in the end 😉

Terminator was brilliant, as always. It’s sad to see a favourite go, but hopefully it’ll be replaced with something amazing.

We were debating walking over to Islands of Adventure, as Universal was closing ready for another Halloween party, but decided to call it a day as the skies were looking a bit dark. It was probably the right choice as the heavens opened on the path back to our hotel and we got drenched.

I was impressed by the service in the hotel again as they had a staff member handing out warm towels at the entrance to anyone coming in dripping wet. It was very welcome as it’s a bit of as shock to the system coming in to the air conditioning, and even more so when you’re wet.

We quickly got changed into dry clothes and made a dive for the car. Stephen has been after some special reading glasses and we hoped that we might get them at Target, and by coincidence there was a Joann next to it so I could look at craft goodies.

We didn’t manage to get the glasses but I did pick up some scrapbooking stickers in the sale. I only made a tiny purchase as space is tight in the suitcases but I’m pleased with what I got.

We stopped off at a Denny’s on the way back for some dinner. I had the French toast grand slam. It came with bacon, eggs and sausages, but I’d tucked in before remembering to take a photo. I was starving! Stephen had a hotpot which he really enjoyed.

Then back to our hotel, where I had the glamorous job of hand-washing some socks. It’s not all fun and games!

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WDW holiday, 3rd Oct – Mickey’s not so scary halloween party


Today we knew we’d be having a late night so we had a lazy morning and went out to pick up our hire car at about 1pm. We’d arranged to pick it up from the Dolphin so we got a bus there via Animal Kingdom, (the first bus that came). There was a massive expo at the Swan & Dolphin and the place was rammed with business people. I’ve never seen it so busy. The front of the Dolphin must have been blocked off as the bus had to drop us off at the Swan. We had to walk over to the Dolphin to do the paperwork, and then had to walk back over to the Swan to pick up the car. We got the car without any difficulty and got upgraded, probably because they didn’t have any economy sized ones. We got a nice red Corolla, which has lots of clever features that our own car doesn’t 🙂

We drove to the Magic Kingdom, as that’s where we planned to end the day, and then got the monorail to Epcot to use our FastPasses. First though we went to get something to eat. We went to Sunshine Seasons and both had Sweet and sour chicken with jasmine rice. It was nice enough and was quite filling so it hit the spot.

Our first FastPass was on Test Track and was great. I love the bit where you design the car, and I really love the bit where you whizz round the outside track. It really blows the cobwebs away!

Next was Mission Space and once again we went on the less intense, green section. I don’t know if the spinny orange section would make me travel sick, and I don’t want to find out. We were in with a really nice couple and had a good laugh with them.

Finally we went on Spaceship earth. Stephen loves it so we usually go on it a couple of times during our visit.

Then we needed to get a wiggle on and head for the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party. We were looking forward to it as there were going to be some great photo ops, a parade and shorter lines for the rides.

The first thing we did once we’d got our party wristbands was head for the line to see Captain Jack Sparrow. We had hoped to see Jack and Sally but the line for that was massive so we didn’t bother. We waited over an hour to see Jack Sparrow and that was long enough, although worth it as we got loads of photos taken and had a good chat with him. He was brilliant and had all the expressions and mannerisms down to a tee.

We found several more photographers as we went round the park, including one that took our photo against a blank wall, while another photographer walked behind us with a tall flashing light. We had no idea what the result would be but when it came through, we thought it was really cool.

I love this animated shot too.

We got a magic shot with the grinning ghosts. One photographer had a lantern for people to pose with. Stephen really got into the spirit (excuse pun) of it. We did several rides too, mostly with waits of less than 20 minutes and some with just a five-minute wait. We did Big thunder mountain, Peter Pan, Haunted mansion and Seven dwarves mine train. That one is brilliant in the dark. 

We were eating while the fireworks were on so mostly missed them. We were too hungry to wait so had burgers in Cosmic Ray’s. We did see the parade though and it was brilliant. I love the Halloween parade.

We finally got back to Kidani at about 1am and after a quick look at the night’s photos, we were out for the count.

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WDW holiday, 2nd Oct – Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom


This morning we’d intended to do Early entry but we also wanted to stay out a bit later too so one of those plans had to change. We just don’t have the stamina to do both these days. We decided to do the later evening, as we hoped to see Rivers of light again, so had a lazy morning and got to Animal Kingdom at about 11am for our first Fast Pass of the day on the Safari.

You may have noticed that we spend more time at Animal Kingdom than any other park, and in that park, we spend more time on the Safari than any other ride. We just love seeing animals, and learning about them and about conservation. I think it’s the main reason that we keep coming back to Disney World, and we love staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge and having all that available to us in our resort.

The safari is different every time you ride so you can never get bored with it. On this ride the Wild African dogs (Painted dogs) were walking around near to the front of their section, and as I had the best seat (front row, left hand side), I had a brilliant view of them.

I got a good view of the Sable antelope for the first time this visit and thanks to my new camera, with better zoom than my last one, I got a reasonable photo.

The new camera helped me get great shots of the lioness too. She was tucked away but I managed to zoom in on her.

Stephen got several lovely photos of this elephant playing with a stick.

We even got a good look at the mandrill monkeys! I think that’s the best photo of them that I’ve managed in all the years we’ve been going to Disney World.The white rhinos were out again. And the Nile Crocodiles were looking quite photogenic too. After our Safari, we went over to Pandora and managed to get the Banshee Magic shot from a photographer.

It really is beautiful there. I love the way they’ve used real plants and added the make-believe ones in among them. The details are amazing. I could spend all day there just looking. We got a couple more PhotoPass pics done too, while we were there.

Next we had our second ride on Flight of passage. We were very lucky to get two FastPasses this year as they were one of the hardest ones to get. The second ride was just as amazing as the first. It’s an incredible experience.

After that we were ready for lunch and although we’ve been trying to eat at different places this year, we couldn’t resist going back to Satu’li canteen as the food there is brilliant. I had exactly the same as last time, the Chicken bowl with raw veggies and black bean dressing. Stephen had the beef bowl again, with the same base of sweet and red potato hash, but had the chimichurri dressing instead of the black bean. We resisted dessert this time but planned to make up for that later.

While we were relaxing after eating our lunch, I checked the time of our next FastPass at Dinosaur but it had vanished from the app. I checked my emails, and sure enough there was a message to say that Dinosaur was down and we could use that FP on a different ride, although not either of the Pandora rides.

At least we found out before walking all the way over to Dinoland this time and as we used the FP on another go on the Safari, we weren’t complaining.

This time on the Safari, we saw the lion and as we were stationary for a few seconds, I managed to zoom right in to him.

We also saw the baby elephant with his family and I got a shot of my favourite view in the Safari.

The flamingos, the water, the palm trees. The safari truck with the elephants in the background. I just love it.

The scimitar-horned oryx were out where we could see them. They’re often quite shy. They’re so beautiful. Next we headed to the Magic Kingdom as we had three multi-park FPs to use and wanted to get on the 7 dwarves mine train. We were disappointed to be told, while we were queueing for it, that we couldn’t use the FP on the ride. We’d been told when we were given the FPs that there were no exclusions at Magic Kingdom so that was a bit annoying.

At one point we stopped for drinks at the Main Street bakery. I had the Strawberry & crème while Stephen tried the Vanilla bean crème. Both yummy. We also split a Spiced pumpkin muffin.

We stood and watched the Move it! Shake it! street party for a while. 

It was really busy in the park so it took us ages to use the three FPs. The FP queues for Buzz lightyear, Haunted mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were huge. I think we spent between 20 and 30 minutes in each line. We did manage to get a Magic shot outside the Haunted mansion though.

We decided to head back to our resort after that. It was really hot again and we were getting quite weary. On the way out, walking down Main Street, we spotted Luke and Jake again so stopped for a chat. When you consider the size of Disney World, it’s a miracle to bump into someone once let alone twice.

I had a couple of hours nap time when we got back as I was getting a migraine. I’ve had a few since we got here, but have been controlling them well with medication. This one was being a bit more stubborn but I felt better after a nap and having something to eat. (crackers and cream cheese.) I spent the rest of the evening reading. I’ve started the latest Flavia de Luce book and am really enjoying it.



WDW holiday, 1st Oct – Hollywood Studios & Epcot


Disney do a thing called Extra magic hours for resort guests. The parks have early entry or later nights on a rotating schedule. I always plan to do some but we rarely get up in time to do early entry and are usually too tired to stay and do the late nights.

Today, however, we managed to get to an early entry park before it even opened. We were at Hollywood Studios for 7.45am. Amazing! We  headed straight to Star Tours to do that first and then walked over to Rock’n’Roller coaster which we got on with just a short wait. That one really wakes you up, and as a bonus, there’s a ride photo.

It started to rain a little as we came off that so we took shelter until it eased a bit and then made a run for Tower of Terror for our first FastPass. I love that ride! It’s exhilarating. We had a brilliant time on it. As we were walking through the gift shop, on the way out, we noticed the rain had come back with a vengeance. It was hammering it down, so we had a really good look around the gift shop until it eased off.

Next up was breakfast time. You notice we got the really stomach-churning rides out of the way first? We headed over to Bill and Min’s dockside diner and got the breakfast burritos. They were really good and excellent value for money.

We had a bit of time before our next FastPass so went for a wander round looking for photographers. I wanted to get as many Magic shots as I could as they’re so much fun.
Not a magic shot, but we liked it.

Our next ride was Toy Story Midway Mania. I don’t think we’ve ever done this without a FastPass, as the queues are so long, but it is a fun ride. I got the high score for our vehicle and more importantly, I beat Stephen 🙂

Our last FastPass was for Star Tours but as we’d already had a go on that, we didn’t wait for our window as we were worried it was going to rain again and we had plans to walk over to Epcot. Our favourite artist, Larry Dotson, was going to be in the Norway pavilion, signing prints. We got two from him last year, to add to the two that we already had, and we hoped to get a couple more.

It was a very hot walk over to Epcot. Stephen had wanted to take the boat but I thought it’d be good to have a nice stroll and take advantage of it not raining. We needed a rest when we got over there though so sat by the Boardwalk for a while, just chilling.

Eventually, we made it to Norway, via France for some more photos.

We had a chat with Larry and picked out a couple of prints. I’d had a pretty good idea what I was looking for. We already have one from the Beach Club and two from Jambo House plus one from Animal Kingdom. I wanted another AK one, preferably showing the Safari, and maybe one of Kidani Village. We found both, and got them signed by Larry so I was well chuffed.

While we were paying for them, we spotted a cast member holding this.

She’s called Kitten and is something to do with Frozen. (a new film about Olaf?) She’d just arrived in the store and sort of followed us home…

After the excitement of shopping we stopped for iced tea to cool us down and then headed for the bus stop. We made it back to our apartment by 3pm and I used the afternoon to catch up on the laundry as we won’t have a washing machine once we move to Universal in a couple of days, and we generally just chilled. Stephen was out for the count by 7.30pm. All this fresh air and heat is wearing him out!

Just in case you’re missing seeing photos of the animals, fear not as we’re back at Animal Kingdom tomorrow.