The One with Keukenhof, The Netherlands

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On our second day of vacation we drove to the famous Keukenhof flower festival!
Keukenhof is the greatest flower garden on earth and open for only two months each spring. Every season 7,000,000 (yep, that's seven million!) flowers bloom across the 80 acre park. 
The name Keukenhof, meaning "kitchen garden," goes back to the 15th century when Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria gathered fruit and vegetables from the woods and dunes here for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. The current Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate grew to an area over 200 hectares. In 1949 a group of 20 flower bulb workers and exporters came up with a plan to use the estate for a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs. This idea signaled the beginning of Keukenhof as a spring park. 
The park first opened its gates to the public in 1950 and was an instant success, with 236,000 visitors during that first season alone. During the last 65 years, this park has grown into a world-famous attraction.
Looks like pink popcorn!
The park is a showcase for Dutch floriculture with an emphasis on flower bulbs. 100 different companies participate and show off their catalogue of flowers.
Not all the flowers at Keukenhof are outside. There are several pavillons around the grounds packed with flowers, arrangements, potted plants, and shrubs.
The first pavilion we explored was the Willem-Alexander Pavilion that showcased thousands of tulips. It smelled like heaven and was bursting with color. 
Me at the Keukenhof.
Even the chairs were colorful.
Fox being silly. As usual :)
An incredible amount of work goes into the park year-round to prepare for the eight weeks of the spring season. Each spring the garden designer walks around the park to see where improvements could be made. By May, he has already finished his designs of the park for the coming year, taking into consideration the wide range of color combinations and blooming times and lengths for each flower type.
Then, a team of 30 gardeners start planting the 7 million bulbs in mid-September. All of the bulbs are planted by hand which takes around three months. New grass is sown before each opening season to ensure that there is a fresh, green backdrop when the park opens. At the end of each season all the bulbs are dug up and destroyed (!!!!!!) and the cycle begins again.
To achieve the longest possible flowering season the Keukenhof gardeners use "lasagna" layered planting. The various bulbs are planted in several layers with the late-flowering varieties on the bottom, the April-flowering bulbs in the middle, and the early-flowering bulbs on top. Genius!

Each year Keukenhof has a theme and in 2015 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh's death, the theme was Van Gogh! The highlight of the theme is a 250 square meter flower bulb mosaic of the artist made up of thousands of tulips and hyacinths. Alas, the portrait had not yet bloomed. 
Evans family at the Keukenhof on Tuesday April 14th 2015.
Ginormous purple flower pots.
I spy some flowering fields!
Trying to get a closer look.
Picturesque (non-functioning) windmill.
Fox and I went up into the windmill to get a better view of more fields. We were too early in the festival - all of the brown will be blooming with flowers in just a couple weeks. Next time :)
This was the best waffle I got anywhere in The Netherlands and Belgium, believe it or not. The caramel topping was divine!
Chris and Fox - hard core Parkour.
These kids and swings! I should make a collage of all the swings they've been on around Europe.
Our family amidst the tulips.
Such a colorful and fun-filled day! Next stop: Brussels, Beglium!

The One with the Elle's Studio April 2015 Layout

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My fourth step-by-step project for Elle's Studio is up! Here is the layout in full, but be sure to visit the Elle's Studio blog for the whole how to:
 photo Happy Moments by Paige Evans.jpg
HAPPY MOMENTS by Paige Evans

On this layout I used elements from the Elle's Studio April 2015 kit:

As well as the "Happy Moments" digital cut file cut with my Silhouette CAMEO:

A quick and simple banner theme and this layout was complete in a matter of minutes! Love when that happens :)
 photo Happy Moments Detail by Paige Evans.jpg
Be sure to check out the Elle's Studio blog for the complete photo tutorial of how this layout came together!

The One with the American Crafts KIDS Layout

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's KIDS Week on the American Crafts blog and here's what I made for it:
 photo Happy by Paige Evans for blog.jpg
HAPPY by Paige Evans

Description: Inspired by a quilt for this layout! Love how the little fabric pieces translate so easily into patterned paper pieces!

Journaling says: "On Wednesdays we wear pink." - Mean Girls

How to: Trim a sheet of white cardstock into (16) 3" squares. Trim patterned papers (I used the Rise & Shine collection by Amy Tangerine and the Fine & Dandy line by Dear Lizzy) into 1/2" strips. Cover the cardstock squares with adhesive then layer the patterned paper strips across. You have to be systematic about placing dark and light colored papers to create the star. That's where the quilt inspiration came in. Adhere the darker colored squares with foam dots, adhere the lighter squares with regular adhesive onto a vanilla cardstock base. Then trim the eight half/half squares diagonally and adhere the light part with regular adhesive and the dark part with foam squares - this way the entire star pops off the page. Stitch around the star a couple of times using a sewing machine and white thread. Add a photo off-center and embellish to your heart's desire. Journal with a black pen and stamp the date in black ink. Done and done!

Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, chipboard, stickers, number paper clip, die cuts, round tag, roller date stamppenadhesive: American Crafts; Ink: StazOn; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark
 photo Happy Detail by Paige Evans for blog.jpg
Have I mentioned lately how much I love American Crafts? :)

The One with Big Picture Classes - Paige's Pages 02

Monday, April 27, 2015

The second round of Paige's Pages at Big Picture Classes is now live, up, and running - squeeeee! (And if you missed it, be sure to check out the first Paige's Pages class too!)

Here is a short description of the class: Paige Evans' layouts often have us wondering - how did she DO that? In Paige's Pages, Paige will be sharing the inspiration and techniques she uses each time she starts a layout, and challenging you to look at your supplies in a whole new way."

Big Picture Classes (or BPC) is an online learning platform for all things crafty, offering classes that cover all the crucial topics about crafting, creating, and documenting memories that you'll need to excel, and then some! Get access to as many classes as you want for only $9.95 a month - that's an AWESOME deal! Each class brings you a variety of topics and ideas, not to mention videos, PDFs, prompts, and so much more! Check out the Big Picture Classes website to find out more about how you can learn everything you need to know to document your memories beautifully every time!
In Paige's Pages #2 (AND Paige's Paiges #1!) there are four start-to-finish videos, more examples of layouts at the end of each lesson, and I'm available here or there for any questions you may have! I love teaching, I love making scrapbook videos, and I'd LOVE to see you in the Paige's Pages #2 classroom over at Big Picture Classes!

The One with KreativWerkstatt

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I'm jumping around a bit, but on the way home from The Netherlands/Belgium, Chris and the kids dropped me off in Frankfurt to teach at KreativWerkstatt for Heidi Swapp! She's been traveling a lot and has a bunch of events in April and couldn't make it out to Germany - I was so glad the timing worked out perfectly! All I had to do was show up and teach - the kits were already made and the mini album was completed. Win win!
But first - breakfast! Bread and cheese of course :)
And some cereal - you know I love me some cereal!
There were 6 groups with about 13-15 ladies in each class.
All prepped and ready to go!
Workin' hard on misting and gluing.
Loved seeing how each person's album turned out differently.
Here's the album I made based off of Heidi's:
On the way home I navigated the Deutsche Bahn solo. Gotta love German efficiency. The train was supposed to arrive at 12:26 and at 12:26 it pulled in! That's how it was with all the stops and transfers. So awesome.
The Hauptbahnhof in Frankfurt.

5 hours of riding along gorgeous German countrysides. It was heaven!
Such a fun opportunity - there's even talks of me teaching my own class next year!!
Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN