The Walt Disney Family Museum and the World of Mary Blair Exhibit Trip Report

walt disney family museum mary blair exhibit 419

This past weekend I got to experience the Walt Disney Family Museum—finally!

We made a trip up to San Francisco, just to make it in time to experience the Mary Blair exhibit at the museum. With only 2 hours in total to spend there, we started with Mary Blair as the thought was, the Walt Disney Family Museum will always be there and we can always come back.

So that’s how I ended up spending a whole hour in Mary Blair world and had to rush through the Walt Disney Family Museum at lightning speed. Yes, rush, as there are 11 galleries to experience and each one is pretty big and unique! I really didn’t get to read much but just get the overall impression of each gallery and move on… but I still walked away feeling inspired by both Walt and Mary and charged up to get to work and to follow my own dreams that I am so passionate about.

Between the two, my big take away was a continued encouragement to tackle your passion, your work, your dreams with your whole heart and give it all you got. Whether your passion is design and art or not, both Mary Blair and Walt Disney did not do anything halfway. Everything they did and everything they touched, was done 100%. If they ran into a problem, they researched, they dug deeper, they clung to it harder. They tried again and again and got it done. Beautifully and epically done.

Sidenote—Before I go on, you may even be wondering who Mary Blair even is…. she was a conceptual artist for Disney. So she created a lot of the ideas and overall feelings for the animators to base their final drawings on for movies like Peter Pan (my fave!), Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella. She then left Disney for a time, but then came back to work on the attraction its a small world for the World’s Fair. That ride then came back to make its home at Disneyland—and is one of the few rides that are actually in every single Disney park.—end very long sidenote.

Recognize this scene from its a small world from Mary Blair's sketchbook—her rough sketches are as bad as mine!

Recognize this scene from its a small world from Mary Blair’s sketchbook—her rough sketches are as bad as mine!

walt disney family museum mary blair exhibit 429

From Mary Blair, I loved seeing how her style so drastically changed from her trip to South America. There, she learned about color and reinvented the way she drew children. This getaway with her husband and the Disney crew—including Walt Disney himself—opened her eyes to the way color is used and gave her an entirely new perspective on her work. Her work drastically changed from that trip. So from that I take 2 things:

1. Take a vacation when you can. Even if its a working trip. Get out of your box and experience life.

2. It’s okay to totally reinvent yourself no matter your age. It’s okay to gain new interests, new perspectives, and a new style. (Sometimes I feel so behind in starting this Etsy shop of mine, it’s totally different than anything I’ve ever done and I’m getting “older”)

walt disney family museum mary blair exhibit 439

Similarly, I had encouraging take-aways from Walt Disney as well but on a much grander and different scale.

I love how Walt would come up with some crazy new idea, and without having a means to get the idea done, he would then create the tool to get it done. One example of that would be the multi plane camera that enables their animations to have that layered quality… from the foreground to the background. Okay, I’m getting rather technical now… so back to the feelings part…. Walt had a vision, he had a dream… he actually had a lot of visions and a lot of dreams… so he made these teams of like-minded people and together they accomplished world changing creative endeavors. I think its amazing to see where he started… he taught himself how to draw, how to animate… and from that planted seed he grew a company and a brand that was then able to grow to such a giant scale of an amusement park. That road from A to B…. was marked with so many failures but then so many wins…. so many struggles and problems but then so many victories and solutions.

A bench from the park where Disney was first inspired to create his own amusement park: Disneyland.

A bench from the park where Disney was first inspired to create his own amusement park: Disneyland.

walt disney family museum 558

Of course, while I love the animation and film side of Disney, my heart truly is captured by Disneyland. The museum kinda lacked in this area. However, it did have a “massive” minitature model of Disneyland. Not Disneyland of any certain year, but the Disneyland that Walt knew and loved. It showed all the rides that he had a hand in, whether or not they had opened before his death (like Haunted Mansion). To view this model, from above, was remarkable. To see the imagination it took to create this larger than life amusement park that was done in the quality it was down to the smallest detail. He left no stone unturned, seriously, even the ground slowly changes theme as you walk from land to land. Walt knew quality, and expected nothing less.

The earliest known drawing of Mickey Mouse.

The earliest known drawing of Mickey Mouse.

So to sum up… from Walt Disney I continued to learn:

1. You have to start somewhere, no matter how small. He started with a sketch of a mouse. “If you can dream it, you can do it” “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

2. Once you get started, don’t let anything get in your way. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”

3. When you’re going after your dreams, go all the way—giving it your all. “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”

sam and walt disney family museumThank you Walt, for being such an inspiration to me… ever since I was a little girl, but more so since I grew up to be a big kid. A kid that wants to explore her creative boundaries and push the limits. To be inspired and to inspire. To have dreams and follow them through. A kid that wants to spark that light in others while continuing to burn my own creative juices. And to do everything I put my mind to with every ounce of strength I have.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

walt disney family museum 591

A Year Spent at the Happiest Place on Earth / 2013-2014

disneyland sleeping beauty castle april 2014

Today my Disneyland pass expires. After having an annual pass to the Happiest Place on Earth since Christmas of 2004, I am so heartbroken to not just be able to head down there whenever I want. Looking back over the years, I feel so blessed and am so thankful for all the little moments and celebrating all the major milestones. It’s the place I fell in love, it’s where friendships were strenghtened, its the place where my little nieces and nephews saw a whole new world with a sparkle in their eyes. And oh my gosh, I miss it already.

On the other hand, Disneyland to me has always been a creative and artistic masterpiece. Every single nook and cranny has been thoughtfully executed down to the smallest detail. It has been crafted with love and a passion for the ideals of one man, Walt Disney. Walking down Main Street, I am just filled with so much creative juice that my heart just feels full and my mind is racing with ideas.

And while I am taking a break from having a pass for awhile… I will forever cherish all these days and nights spent in the most beautiful amusement park ever created. Okay, I think Paris and Tokyo Disneyland are the prettiest, but I haven’t been to those—yet.

So here’s to yet another great year spent at the Happiest Place on Earth—and my last for a little while! To the memories and photographs, to the friends and laughter.

See my 2010 year at Disneyland, 2011,  and 2012.

May 7

The day I got my pass was just to be able to get in for the day to take Rachel’s maternity photos… it was great to be back after not having a pass for 2 months. And of course, great to be there for sun kissed moments such as this…

rachel-disneyland-maternity-photos_0722

September 22

Saying goodbye to the Courtyard of Angels as they closed it down the following week to make it the new entrance to Club 33. It’s my favorite spot in the park, see my post on it here.

courtyard of angels 2013

November 11

My first trip with my newest Disneyland ride buddy!! I was pretty excited, can you tell?

amelia 5 months

November 15

First time seeing Amie as Mrs. Pankratz since the wedding! So much catching up to do while exploring Disneyland at its Christmas finest!

disneyland amie sam november christmas 2013

December 8

Before going on Splash Mountain with the newlyweds… and before Amie was very upset with us for making her sit in the front row and get totally drenched.

splash mountain pankratz allen december 2013

January 12

Celebrating our annual trip for Rachel’s birthday.

rachels 21 birthday disneyland january 2014

January 17

Because I just couldn’t pick which Ryan boy to post! And because they are both just so darn cute!!

parker january 2014 disneyland

hudson january 2014 fliks flyers

February 9

One last trip before the husband’s pass expired.

innoventions with andy february 2014

April 9

Molly’s first trip to Disneyland! And her buddy Grayson and my buddy Jess looking at ducks… again, couldn’t decide which kiddo to show! More photos from this trip here.

mollys first disneyland trip april 2014

grayson and jess ducks april 2014 disneyland

April 11

Mia took her first spin around the teacups during what we thought would be our last trip together! Another couple photos from this trip here!

amelia disneyland tea cups april 2014

rachel sam amelia disneyland tea cups april 2014

April 30

Another “last trip before the pass expires…” I just love watching the kiddos experience the joys we take for advantage. Like the fun of a carousel.

california adventure carousel molly trisha april 2014

california adventure carousel grayson april 2014

May 4

Since I started my pass and this post off with 8 month pregnant Rachel, I thought it was only appropriate to end with 11 month old Mia in her mama’s arms.

rachel amelia disneyland castle may 2014

Wow… what a year it was! I can’t promise you that I didn’t cry a few times going through photos to create this post. I love these friends of mine who are more like family. And this park that sometimes feels more like home.

disneyland sam

Disneyland Secrets: Hidden Mickeys and other Fun Facts

lily belle train

Many people are shocked to find out I only truly fell in love with all things Disney[land] just when I met my hubby 10 years ago.

I grew up on Disney’s movie magic and loved the random trips we took as kids but it wasn’t until Andy pointed out the random holes in the wall on the Pirates of the Carbibbean ride and asked if I could see the Hidden Mickey—that my love for Disney grew into a passion.

From there, my obsession with all things secret—and even mythical—about Disneyland began. I found an outdated website with Hidden Mickey sightings, printed out pages and pages and went through the park marking them off one at a time. Yeah, Andy kept his distance from me on those days. 🙂

What kept me so entranced by these hidden gems is the artistic detail the park Imagineers tended to. All this “hidden stuff” is just bonus fun to an already amazing place to visit. It’s what kept me going back trip after trip, year after year. It’s these small details that place the quality of Disneyland over an other amusement park.

So I just wanted to take some of these little gems and share them with you! And just like Andy sparked my curiosity oh so many years ago, hopefully I can spark yours!

All the photos below were taken by me, or friends, over the last 10 years of having our annual passes.

Hidden Mickeys

What is a Hidden Mickey anyway? According to the Hidden Mickey Guy:

An official Hidden Mickey: a partial or complete impression of Mickey Mouse placed by the Imagineers and artists to blend into the designs of Disney attractions, hotels, restaurants, and other areas.

The 50th anniversary celebration really brought Hidden Mickeys to the forefront. Where to many, the idea of Hidden Mickeys were somewhat mythical and unofficial, the 50th anniversary placed 50 “hidden” Mickeys throughout the park. Many were very obvious finds while a small percentage were trickier to find.

50 castle disneyland 50th anniversary hidden mickey haunted mansion Disneyland's 50th anniversary hidden mickey

But these small hidden gems, go beyond just those three interlocking circles. There are many more nods to other characters, and even past rides—or whole restaurants!

Let’s take a grand circle tour of the park, shall we?

Disneyland

Starting with Main Street….

There are a great many nods to the past found in the Main Street windows. Many of the painted window advertisements acknowledge past Disneyland Imagineers, artists, and animators. One of the more famous windows is for Elias Disney, Walt Disney’s father. Another famous window, and room, is above the firehouse where Walt Disney used to stay after hours in a furnished apartment. There is still a light in the window that is always on in his memory.

Main Street Cinema Hidden Mickey

Find this Hidden Mickey in the Main Street Cinema.

 

Fantasyland

My favorite Hidden Mickey is found in the top windows of Big Ben, of the London scene in the Peter Pan attraction. You can see just a silhouette of Mickey Mouse waving to you just as you finish circling the tower.

mr toad's hidden mickey eye

Look closely in Mr. Toad’s left eye to find a little Hidden Mickey

 

Pixie Hollow Hidden Mickey

I was quite excited to spot a Hidden Mickey at the entrance to Pixie Hollow!

Adventureland

Indiana Jones has so so so many amazing finds! In the projector room, ask the Cast Member at the front of the line if they have a flash light. If so, they can show you, up in the rafters, an old Eeyore sign from the parking lot that stood in place before Indiana Jones was built over it! And then just before you leave the projector room, look back at the left wall and you can see a very subtle but GIANT Hidden Mickey on the wall made from the rocks and cracks.

indiana jones projector room hidden mickey

Another Hidden Mickey lies in the very next room, on the desk on the cover of a magazine is a scene from one of the original Mickey black and white cartoons from the same time period that Indiana Jones took place. These are my favorite kinds of Hidden Mickeys… where they seamlessly fit with the theme of the room and are pretty out in the open but still subtle.

Indiana Jones Hidden Mickey magazine

Another amazing fun Mickey find is on the ride itself. As you’re entering the first skeleton/bone room, look back over your left shoulder and you’ll find a skeleton leaning against the wall that is wearing those classic Mickey ears hats! So fun but so very hard to find! We once rode it over and over until we found it and now I can’t-not see it!

Like I mentioned, there’s a lot more “hidden” than just Mickeys. Sitting on top of the Jungle Cruise building sits a familiar totem from the Tiki Room.

Tiki Room totem in Jungle Cruise line

And notice any other familiar characters from our beloved Beauty and the Beast sitting in the Tarzan’s Treehouse camp?

Mrs. Potts in Tarzans Treehouse

New Orlean’s Square

I mentioned the Hidden Mickey on the Pirates ride earlier (in the top center of the right wall in the big ship fight scene)… but another fun fact is that the skull in the bedroom scene on the left is from an actual real life skeleton! At the time, 1960s, the technology to create realistic skeletons wasn’t quite there yet, so they got a hold of a bunch of real skeletons from a doctor friend of Disney’s. Since then, they’ve replaced the majority of the skeletons with artificial replicas but the skull in place above the skeleton in bed is still one of the originals! You can see the difference in the color tone as well, the original is a darker brown while the replica in the bed is whiter.

A very well known and easy to find Hidden Mickey can be found in the dining hall of the Haunted Mansion attraction. With an always changing display, you can find the tri-circle Mickey among the dinner plates.

I’m not sure if this really counts at this point, but Club 33 (posted about last year’s visit here and here) is a somewhat secretive restaurant. The more appropriate word though may be “exclusive.” It remains to be a secretive location because it is so exclusive and so expensive!

club-33-disneyland-exit-anthony-minh-tran-78

Critter Country

Like the Eeyore sign, I love when the new rides give nods to what once stood before. On the Winnie the Pooh ride, you can see the deer, buffalo and moose heads that once hung on the wall of Country Bear Jamboree! It’s easiest to see them when you’re sitting in the front row of the honey pot, turn all the way around when leaving Pooh’s dream scene and they’re found just above the archway. Also, find a Hidden Mickey along the right wall after that in the honey.

Country Bear Jamboree in Winnie the Pooh Disneyland

Frontierland

Find this next Mickey while riding Big Thunder Mountain… however with the recent overhaul of the ride, this may not be there anymore!

big thunder mountain hidden mickey big thunder mountain hidden mickey 2

Golden Horseshoe Hidden Mickey

Can you find the odd ball out in the Golden Horseshoe?

Tomorrowland

You may remember the attraction that once stood in place of Innoventions… America Sings. Some of those singing chickens found their way to Star Tours—just without the feathers!

america sings chicken star tours

You can see the chicken-like resemblance in the feet of the robot on the right!

Find this Hidden Mickey on a tile in the first room of Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters

Find this Hidden Mickey on a tile in the first room of Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters

Toontown

Toontown is on a whole other level when it comes to Hidden Mickeys. These Mickeys are so obvious and more just for decoration, so they’re called Decor Mickeys. So many examples of which can be found in Mickey’s house itself. Even the music notes are little Mickeys.

hidden mickey joyce

California Adventure

I don’t know nearly as much about California Adventure as I know about Disneyland so we’ll just head over there for a moment or two…

 

mater hidden mickey 2007

Lasseter wine label

You may recognize the owner’s of this mock wine label as the Creative Director of both Disney and Pixar: John Lasseter!

It was once said that there are no Hidden Mickeys inside of the Tower of Terror. I heard that the creators of the ride wanted to distance themselves from Disney. Not sure if that’s true or not, but the only Mickey I’ve ever found happens to be my favorite one in California Adventure! When watching the ride preview video, and again on the ride itself, watch out for the little girl’s stuffed animal. 🙂

brother bear poster

There are at least 3 hidden Mickeys in this map to the Redwood Creek Park. There’s usually a cast member on hand to aide in the search as well.

hidden mickey chew chew train

Find this little guy toward the end of the Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train ride on the right side.

Ariel Line Hidden Mickey

There’s a good chance in all splashes of bubbles, water, or even honey (Winnie the Pooh) that there lies a Hidden Mickey. Find these bubbles in the ironwork outside Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

Outside the Parks

Mickeys and other secrets aren’t just confined inside the park walls. There’s lots to find outside “the berm.”

Keep your eyes out for those pesky Disney cats… it’s my hubby’s absolute favorite secret of the parks. When the park first opened, it had such a horrible mouse infestation that they unleashed a plethora of cats to capture them all. Only that led to a bunch of cats that have remained escaped all these years. We’ve found them mostly around the Rivers of America and along the train route but once had a cat spend quite a lot of time with us in the area that now houses California Adventure’s Radiator Springs.

Disney cat

This has to be one of the biggest and well kept Hidden Mickeys of all the parks… (photo found on the D23 site)

Along Disneyland Drive, near the corner of Katella, you can find this giant Mickey made out of the sidewalks. Many pedestrians walk this every single day and probably never really know or care to think about its odd shape!

Hidden Mickey Harbor

Here I am excitedly running around the Mickey with my Hidden Mickey book in tow. haha nerd alert!

grand californian hidden mickey

This cleverly hidden Mickey is within the concierge counter of the Grand Californian Hotel… there’s also a hidden fairy (not pictured)!

downtown disney marceline's hidden mickey

Do I really need to help you find this one? You’re a pro now!

Disneyland Parking Structure Daisy Hidden Mickey

Find this fun Mickey on the Daisy level of the parking structure!

Hope you enjoyed this post and will have fun finding some of these and more yourself!

Many thanks to my friend Lindsey who scampered around the park finding many of these little guys with me!

hidden mickey me_linds

If you want to try to find some of the above secrets and many many more… check out this great resource: Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets. It goes much deeper than just the Hidden Mickeys. Also has two routes to take, a very descriptive way of finding stuff (like a cheat sheet), or a harder and less obvious hint to find them.

There’s also a fun app, for the less serious secret finder called Wishing Stars.

 So what are your favorite secrets of this beloved park??

13 Ways to Make Each Trip to Disneyland Memorable

disneyland stone 0383

In Southern California, it seems like everyone—at one time or another—has had a Disneyland annual pass. And I have had a Disneyland pass for a solid 9 years now. But the plan right now, is when my pass expires in May, to not renew it. We just aren’t able to go nearly as often as we used to… And as my time at the Happiest on Earth comes to a halt pause, I’ve been reminiscing like crazy of this place that I love so much. And as I’ve been looking through 10 years worth of Disneyland trips I’m reminded of a question I get asked all the time is…

How do I keep going without getting bored?

And to answer this age old question, I’ve written up a list of ideas for you that can truly enrich your Disneyland experience. And please pardon me as I get sappy and sentimental with a post full of photos from the past. 🙂

1. Rainy Days

Go on a rainy day. This is one of my favorite “secret” tips. It’s a widely known fact that the residents of southern California are ever fearful of water falling from the sky and scatter at the first raindrop—making these days the best Disneyland days. No lines, no crowds, no heat… just a few raindrops and breaking records on quantity of rides! Better yet, go on all the water rides, especially Splash Mountain and River Rapids, more than likely you won’t have to wait in any lines. And if you really don’t want to get totally soaked, stop by the store on the way for some $1 ponchos!

Rachel and Me before Grizzly Rapids, 2010

ponchos at disneyland 2010

2. Monorail Ride

Start your day off right with a ride into the park in style, up front with the Monorail conductor.

Riding up front with Joyce, 2006

monorail april 2006

3. Dress Up!

Disneyland has a few unofficial dress up days like last weekend’s Dapper Day, but one of my favorites was when my girlfriends and I dressed in matching shirts with our favorite Disney characters for my bachelorette party.

Bachelorette party, 2007

disneyland bachelorette party shirts

4. Iconic but Unique Photos

Speaking of photos in front of the castle… Whenever you go to Disneyland, you pretty much have to take a picture right smack in front of the castle. But now that that spot’s practically a mob scene, I would totally recommend branching off to the sides of the castle to get your favorite family photo. Plus, your family moment will be much more intimate than fighting for space in front of the castle.

Rachel’s Disneyland maternity photos, 2013 (link)

rachel-disneyland-maternity-photos_0687

5. Holi-Days

Enjoy the different seasons. From Halloween to Christmas. Not only is the parked decked out in its finest, but there’s extra shows to see and ride overlays to experience. My favorite Christmas time show is the Candlelight Processional—my favorite—usually held the first weekend of December. And of course starting in the fall, Haunted Mansion turns into Jack Skellington’s stomping grounds until the new year. As well as Small World decking the halls with bells of holly.

Candlelight Processional, 2009

candlelight processional 2009 5659

6. Take the Train

Take the train all around the park. Ask to sit up by the engineer (2 people max) or better yet, get there early enough to reserve a trip in the Lilly Belle—the parlor car decorate by Lillian Disney herself—and the caboose to the C.K. Holiday train.

Lilly Belle ride, 2008

lily belle caboose

7. Scavenger Hunt

Go on a scavenger hunt. Find Hidden Mickeys (great Hidden Mickey book here) or use the Wishing Stars app.

Joey finds a Hidden Mickey on Mulholland Madness, 2006

hidden mickey joey 2006

8. Show Time

Don’t go on any rides, just enjoy the shows. From the 3D shows to the parades to stage productions like Aladdin, just spending the day at shows can really take up the whole day. And a great way to enjoy the parks in the summer, away from the crowds and in the air conditioning! My favorite 3D show is Muppet Vision in California Adventure. But of course my all time favorite show would be the Fantasmic production on the Rivers of America. Favorite by far!

The Ryan family before It’s Tough to Be A Bug, 2014

tough to be a bug 2014

9. Ride Photo Poses

Diversify your “ride photos” with different poses and reactions. The sleepers always crack me up.

Korey, Kory, Lauren, Ashley, Gaby, and me on Space Mountain, 2008

space mountain 2008

10. Birthday Celebrations!

I love celebrating birthdays at Disneyland. Wearing your birthday pin always gains the affections of all the cast members and ensures that your day will be a happy one.

Rachel’s first trip to Disneyland, 2009

rachels birthday 2009 5734

11. Free Snack Food

Take advantage of the only free stuff Disney offers: Ghiradelli chocolates and sourdough bread in California Adventure’s Pacific Wharf. Actually, this isn’t really a way to mix up your trips, but something to enjoy every trip. (RIP Tortilla Factory 🙁 )

First trip to Ghiradelli’s Chocolate Shop, 2012

california adventure ghiradelli square0023

Fine Dining

Speaking of food, another fun way to make a few trips feel extra special is to dine in at the nicer restaurants the park offers. Whether its Blue Bayou, the restaurant within the Pirates of the Caribbean… or its neighbor: Club 33.

Andy and I have dined at Blue Bayou quite a few times, usually celebrating our anniversaries or during our honeymoon. Here’s a photo from our one year “dating anniversary,” 2006.

blue bayou dinner jan 2006

And I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since our first ever experience at Club 33. Read more on that trip here, and a full photo tour here.

club-33-disneyland-dining_0656

Friends & Family

By far, the best way to diversify your trips to Disneyland is to go with different groups—from friends to family. I can’t tell you how many friendships were formed within these park gates… But specifically, go with different ages. From usually going with adults the first half of having a pass… it’s such a different experience (obviously haha) going with kids. You see the park in a whole new eye opening, jaw dropped-in-awe experience. This may seem oh-so-very obvious to most… but it’s only been in the last 5 years that I started going with kids (thanks Eli!). And for this Disney-fanatic, I love sharing the joy and wonder in the parks with these little kiddos. I think my heart grows in size every single trip.

Eli watching the Pixar Play Parade, 2010

eli-california-adventure-2010-pixar-play-parade

Okay, I need to stop this post now even though I can go on and on… plus I’ve made myself cry like 6 times just writing it and going through all these old photos.

For a few more ideas check out these posts on Mice Chat

Do you have any special Disneyland adventures to share? Comment below! I only have a few trips left and I want to get it all in!

Evernotes Every Friday

1. Dana Tanamachi’s Chalk Book Covers

I’ve been loving on Dana’s chalk work for quite some time now… so now that I see she has illustrated and created several book covers for Puffin Books… well you see, my heart grew two whole sizes and my eyes turned into big hearts like in the cartoons. And for $7.19 on Amazon this could be mine… Add to cart, checkout!! Wizard of Oz and Pippi Longstocking are also available in addition to Peter Pan. Found via designworklife.

2. D23 Expo

This past weekend was the D23 Expo in Anaheim… I was granted tickets for the very first expo a few years ago and I think I may need to purchase tickets for the next one in two years again. Thankfully, this year, I was able to read a very in depth article on the expo and all there was to see in my favorite Disney blog, Mice Chat. I mean they had an entire wing dedicated to Imagineering, with real Imagineers there to talk with guests. Ahh!!

3. DIY Framed Chalk Entryway

I’m loving this chalkboard wall that Ez created on Creature Comforts. It’s just darling, I love the mixture of medias too that really take this installation to the next step making it a real gallery. My husband I may not be daring enough to paint on the wall, but I like the idea of several framed chalkboards mixed in with other art pieces. See more of this DIY and a painted striped rug DIY here.

4. DIY Wire Basket

Another DIY I found on Creature Comforts this week was a link to Four Corners Design with their tutorial on creating wire baskets out of hardware cloth / woven wire. I love the industrial look of wire baskets but the cost of them sometimes outweighs the product even at Home Goods. Definitely a DIY worth looking into!

5. 15 Ways to Use a Ladder at Home

And lastly, for today, another home product I love… ladders! I have been bugging the hubby to get a ladder to act as a shelving unit and also side table but he’s not digging it. So I will lust after them in this article from Design*Sponge: 15 Way to Use a Ladder at Home. If all else fails, the crate wall in my office just may be tall enough to merit a ladder! (yes, I still have yet to blog my amazing office redo…)

Evernotes Every Friday

This will be my last Evernotes Every for a couple weeks… but do not fret, you’ll still be getting your Friday fill with guest posts by Amie on some wedding DIYs as well as from photographer and mommy Jess from J. Rose Photography so please check back!

1. Design*Sponge Travel Guides

So why will I be taking some Friday hiatus’? Well I will be jetting around the north east corner of America! So of course I had to delve into all the travel posts on Design*Sponge! I love the division of these posts between Shop, Eat, and Experience. So helpful in finding things to do and most importantly, where to eat. To see more Design*Sponge travel guides, click here.

2. 21 Signs You’re Dating a Designer

I found myself goofily smiling while reading this post on 21 Signs You’re Dating a Designer. And I bet any of my friends who read the article will find the humor in just by knowing me as well… in particular [#1] my pointing out ugly restaurant menu typefaces, [#9] the stress of buying me gifts, [#14] custom handmade gifts, and most importantly, [#17] always making sure they have stellar wedding invitations, and now baby shower invitations! Read the rest of the list on buzzfeed.com, found via swissmiss.

3. Saving Mr. Banks Movie Poster

Oh how I have been impatiently waiting for any and all news updates on the upcoming Disney movie, Saving Mr. Banks. Just last week the movie trailer finally came out and then this week I saw this poster on Facebook. Couldn’t be more excited to see “Walt” walk down Main Street, USA, this coming December.

saving-mr-banks-movie-poster

4. The Pixar Theory

Speaking of Disney, this site was cracking me up with their witty creativity! The Pixar Theory proposes that the entire Pixar family actaully exists within the same universe. Starting with Merida’s (Brave) discovery of the magical wisps to The Icredible’s Buddy releasing the Zero Point Energy that ends up powering toys to come to life (Toy Story) and the advancement in fish I.Q. (Finding Nemo). All this culminates in the destruction of the human population on the Earth (Cars and Wall-E) and the evolution of the animals turns them into Monsters (Monster’s Inc). Whew.

Go read the Pixar Theory for yourself, so entertaining and mind blowingly creative.

thepixartheory

5. Lumi Co’s Print Fabric with Light

I originally saved this for the design on the front of the box, but the more I looked into the more I want to buy the starter kit. Seems like a pretty neat idea. Design*Sponge even posted a DIY using these photosenstive dyes. Found the Dieline.

Evernotes Every Friday

1. Texas Monthly, Jon Contino

I love when the different sections in life spill over into one another, in particular when the husband’s BBQ world collides with my design world. So when I saw this post by the wonderful letterer and design, Jon Contino, for Texas Monthly I just knew I had to share it with you all. From the saucy titles on the cover to the handdrawn map of southern BBQ—there’s truly some amazing work to see plus a video on the “painting with BBQ sauce” process. Check out more photos from the magazine on Jon’s site.

2. Starbucks Coffee Perfection

Can you even fathom the man hours to create such a promotion? Cutting all the smallest of pieces of paper, manipulating the characters on the screen in between each take, but the joy and gratification of seeing the final product must totally outweigh all of that! What a beautiful work of art! Here is the finished commercial, be sure to check out the behind the scenes work from Rogier Wieland on Design Work Life.

Starbucks Coffee Perfection from Rogier Wieland on Vimeo.

3. Easy, Tiger Cards

Another post from Design Work Life… a greeting card vending machine!

4. Zizzi

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the way they insert the Specials so inventive? I love it! Found via Art of the Menu.

5. American Presidential Wrestling

Maybe I would be more interested in politics if they truly did wrestle! Found via Vintage Me Oh My.

Evernotes Every Friday

While I continue to play catch up every evening on all my various freelance projects, I thought giving another glimpse into a couple of my last 2 weeks’ projects would be fun!

1. Nautical Baby Shower Invite

Last week, I designed a baby shower invite for a friend of a friend… hoping to get this final design up in my Etsy shop within the next month. I just love how it came out!

andrea-nautical-5x7-peek

2. Etsy Stamp Sales

Speaking of Etsy, I could possibly say that my Etsy sales have quadrupled this month, but if you knew how they were doing last month… then that’s not really saying much. I just get so excited with every sale though! And then sending out each order, feels like sending a small piece of my heart right along. Anyway… I got 2 similar requests though this past week for a somewhat customized order of my return address stamp. Hoping to make this a regular product soon!

wiemann-sketch_1548

3. Glow

Working on a logo with a  neon light treatment for church….

glow-peek

4. Superman Birthday Party

A very special someone is turning 5 this month, here’s just a little peek into the festivities to come. Can you guess the game?

superman_20x30

5. Miss Kaelea’s 2 Year Photoshoot

Earlier this week, I spent an evening photographing this little wiggly dancing blonde 2 year old! I have only just begun digging through the hundreds of photos, but I thought I’d share a rare glimpse of the little miss laying still. So so much fun. I can’t wait to show you more!

kaelea-2-year-old-photography-wildomar-murrieta-park_0479

Evernotes Every Friday

1. All Aboard the Grahamtrak! Birthday Invitations

Well it was finally time to retire my trusty papercutter and get a new one! After a lengthy discussion I did not get this amazing paper cutter at Staples and now finding these adorable birthday invites, I am regretting… oh the perforation! So adorable! Designed by Chris Halverson for his son’s big day, found via For Print Only.

2. DIY Perfume Bottles

So so pretty!! Must find a reason to make these… bridal showers, baby showers? Who wants needs one? Find the DIY on Green Wedding Shoes.

3. Cardboard Food Truck

It’s been the hubby’s dream to own a food truck, as the subject has come up a lot this week this find on swissmiss made me laugh. Support this Kickstarter, let’s get my hubby the food truck of his dreams!

4. German Chocolate Pecan Bars

Another goodie to save for my hubby… He would L-O-V-E these! Recipe found here, originally found via Pinterest.

5. Disney Dishes

I know my time as a Disneyland passholder is drawing to a close… so thankfully I have found this site that has many many many favorite Disneyland recipes. Mmmmm…. Find the Dole Whip recipe here, and many more on Magical Recipes. Originally found on Pinterest.