A Disney Photographic Timeline


The other day, our family was talking about how many times each of us had been to Disney parks.  For my husband, whose 1st visit was in 1955, the only record of it is a notation in his baby book saying that he had his first train ride there.  As a southern Californian, he went many times as a child, but there are no photographs of the visits.

Before our daughter was born, I had been to Disney World 2 times previously, but there is only 1 picture that I am in since I am usually the person behind the camera.

Most of our daughter’s Disney experiences have at least SOME record of her having been there, but looking at HOW I recorded her park visits is a little cringe-inducing now.

scrapbook page

Take a look at this page for instance.  Remember cutting photos into shapes and using decorative scissors?  It screams 1995 which is exactly when it was made.  At least I remembered to save the $22 Disneyland paper ticket!  That said, it might be time to make a new album of her Disney visits with just a little more modern look.  Perhaps, say, keeping the photographs square or rectangles?!  And maybe no decorative scissors?!

Fortunately, I still have all of my negatives safely stored in archival sleeves in binders.


I don’t have a film scanner, but, as an Android user, there is a great free app called the Helmut Film Scanner that works simply and effectively with reasonable photo quality.  Take for instance, this photo of our dog meeting Mickey at a relay race.  This is a 35 mm scan with no sharpening, color correction, etc. done prior to or after the scan.

Border Collie meets Mickey Mouse

As I scanned negatives, I started keeping a tally of how many photographs were taken during each Disney visit.  The increase is staggering.

1992 – 9  (daughter’s first visit to Disneyland.)

1993 – 8

1994 – 22

1995 – 6 (birthday trip to DL with friend)

1996 – 3

1998 – 26 (first trip to WDW)

1999 – 2

2001 – 16

2003 – 59 (film + digital)

2010 – 513 (all digital from here on)

2012 – 76 (half marathon only)

2013 – 769

2014 – 1242

The ease of digital photography now means that everyone in our family has a way to capture memories and the quality of most of the images is really excellent.  The job of sorting through, editing, and laying out pages for scrapbooks and photo books is a lot more daunting though than the years where 4 or 5 pictures per trip was all you came home with.

Wonderful World of Disney Sewing – Experimenting


When you are out on a run and your mind is wandering, it is easy to come up with some crazy ideas that you can’t wait to get home to try out.  That is the genesis of this next top.


When we purchased the letter buttons for the corduroy jacket, they came with a set of colored buttons with the same letters.    We had some fabric at home that looked ok with the button colors so decided to try the free Izzy top pattern from Climbing the Willow.  But, we wanted to add a little twist to the bodice to tie it in with the MICKEY buttons.

The crazy running idea was to see if it was possible to make a Mickey head with honeycomb smocking.  I drew dots in a circle at 2 points along the radius for a Mickey head and Mickey ears.  Then, I did honeycomb smocking of the head first and then ears.  I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but the fabrics were leftover pieces from some old quilt projects, so it was no cost if it didn’t work.


The dots for the outer perimeter of the circles were 1/4 inch apart.  If I were doing it again, I would place them closer together.

After the honeycomb smocking was done, I basted around the shape of the Izzy pattern top to hold the fabric in place and then cut it out.  The bodice is lined, so the back of the smocking is covered.

Free pattern, leftover fabric, and an idea that kind of worked!  Guess that means we better lace up our running shoes and head back out.

Wonderful World of Disney Sewing – Winter Jacket



You know how it is . . . you go into the fabric store just for a zipper and another cute Disney fabric lures you in!  This time it was at Hancock’s where we spotted this Mickey and Friends Cupcakes fine wale corduroy fabric.

We already had a pattern at home – Simplicity 1477 which is an adorable fox or raccoon jacket pattern that I bought last year.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.08.03 AM

It only took a little modification to make the pattern suit the cupcake fabric.


Instead of fox or raccoon ears, we made Mickey ears for the hood!

The jacket is lined and interfaced with fusible fleece, so should be plenty warm for southern winters.  Choosing the lining was a dilemma.  All the typical lining materials were too dull looking for such a whimsical jacket.  So, when we spotted some wonderfully soft brushed back princess themed satin in the perfect shade of pink, we went for it.


It does kind of look like an explosion of pink and Disney, but that sounds like just the kind of thing that a 3 year old would love to wear!

Wonderful World of Disney Sewing – Princesses


This has been a good year for finding Disney fabrics that are a little more artistic and subtle than the usual cartoonish fabrics that have always been available.


The first top is made from the Children’s Corner Abbie pattern.  It is a lined tunic that sewed together very quickly.  The fabric is called Fashionable Princesses Word Badge and was from Joann’s Fabrics.  This kind of fabric seems to show up randomly there and disappears pretty quickly. 0817151439

The second top is the Oliver and S Puppet Show Tunic made with another Joann’s find.  The Disney fabric this time is Disney Watercolor Princess Patch.  Again, I only saw this fabric one time at Joann’s and haven’t seen it since.

It’s great to see Disney licensing different styles of fabric, but now, it would be nice to see the manufacturer/distributors branch out and offer a greater variety of substrates other than fleece and quilting weight cotton.

Disney Envelope Art – Anna


Another little “happy” headed out in the mail for Isabella.  This time the manila envelope is decorated with Anna from Frozen.

Disney envelope art - Anna

There are some great video tutorials for drawing Disney characters on the Disney Parks blog.  This sketch was from that series of tutorials.

Another Gift for the Minimalist Disney Lover


It’s always a challenge to find gifts for people who don’t like to accumulate more possessions, so, as we shared in the last post, we like to give each other the gift of an experience.

We thought it would be hard to top the fun we had sampling our way through Epcot, but our daughter came up with yet another great gift idea for our last Disney trip – our very own “Magical” app!

Now, it does help if your daughter is in the midst of getting a PhD in computer science for this gift.  But, it also helps that she knows a lot about Disney.  This year, she made an Android app that led us on a scavenger hunt through Epcot so we could experience things we might not usually notice.

Magical Disney Android app

We have been to Epcot many times, but never even noticed the first stop on the scavenger hunt – the Coca Cola tasting area where you could sample sodas from around the world.  Let’s just say, the Beverly was unique.

Fiesta de Navidad Epcot

Other stops included everything from participating in the Fiesta de Navidad in Mexico to guessing which of the totem poles in Canada was wood.

Magical Disney Android app

The coordinates were all programmed in for each stop (including to the wooden totem pole) and all we had to do was follow the arrow.

Looks like the signal is strong in the back yard.  That must mean we need another trip!

Giving the Gift of Disney Memories


Some of us were born minimalists and others of us had to learn it.  The good part about a more minimalist home is that it is easy to keep clean, you know where things are, and shopping doesn’t hold much appeal.  The bad part is that it makes it harder for people to know what to give you as a gift so our family loves to give and receive the gift of an experience more than anything.

In 2013, our Disney trip was over Isabella’s birthday and Christmas and our daughter came up with the perfect Christmas gift for us:

Disney gift card idea DIY

We received an envelope that contained a Disney gift card and a card our daughter made with a Contemporary resort graphic with instructions for how to use the gift card.

It was the gift of a an experience sampling foods from all the countries in Epcot.  We had so much fun and the memories of doing that as a family are more precious than any item we could ever receive.

Girls Love Star Wars, Too! More DIY


There’s a new Star Wars movie coming out in December – The Force Awakens.  Maybe this means that Disney merchandising will awaken and start to stock more Star Wars shirts designed for girls and women.  Until then, it’s more DIY and more glitter!

diy star wars sparkle t-shirt

Making t-shirts is easy, especially if you have a serger, but sometimes you can find them on sale for less than the price of fabric.  This t-shirt was $4 at Target.

We did another image search for Star Wars silhouettes and Star Wars title.  We traced them onto the back of the glitter sheet, cut them out, and ironed them on.  Don’t forget to reverse the image for letters.

diy star wars sparkle t-shirt

Here’s another t-shirt with Princess Leia.  The tee was on a $5 sale at Old Navy and the silhouette material is part of the original pack that we got at Hobby Lobby.

DIY Princess Leia sparkle t-shirt

Disney Sparkle T-shirt DIY – Take 2


Princess silhouette t-shirt diy

The package of sparkle iron on material that we used for the castle t-shirt came with 4 different sheets of glittery goodness.  So, we put it to use again.  This time with a princess silhouette that we found doing an image search.

This top is another free pattern.  It is the size 4-5 basic t-shirt by Dana at Made.  To make it look a little more princess-like, I added a self-drafted circle skirt.  The fabric is a cotton interlock from Joanns.

sparkle princess t-shirt diy

Sparkle Castle T-shirt with Free 4T pattern


DIY Disney castle sparkle t-shirt

We’ve already started sewing for our next Disney trip (or just for playing princesses every day!).    This shirt came about when we saw these Tulip Glitter Iron On Sheets at Hobby Lobby.

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First, we cut a simple cap sleeve t-shirt out of white cotton interlock.  Here is the pattern for the t-shirt that we drew:

3 step t-shirt pattern

You will need to draw it out full -size with each square equaling one inch.  Cut out the t-shirt and apply the glitter applique to the front before you sew it together.

We just did an image search for a castle silhouette and traced around it onto the back fusible side of the shimmer material.  Then, cut around it and iron in place.

sparkle castle applique

Sewing the t-shirt together is as easy as 1, 2, 3.  Just follow the instructions on the diagram.

Everyone deserves a little sparkle!