Still catching up on my weekend pages, and what better time to do it since we did literally nothing this past weekend. I’m not even downplaying it … we did absolutely nothing. But the second weekend of February was a BIG one for us, because it included a trip to Minneapolis that Tom had been planning for over a month. I live with two huge LEGO geeks, so when Tom found out that one of the websites he visits, BrickMania, rents some warehouse space that they open to the public once a month, he practically vibrated with excitement.

We decided NOT to tell the young one about it, because we didn’t want to field a month of Q&A sessions about every little intricacy of the trip. Also because it’s just fun to mess with him. I told him that we were going to Minneapolis, but that we were going to IKEA and to a few clothing shops so I could try on dresses and shoes. I may as well have told him we were sending him to Alcatraz.

We really took him to Brickmania Toyworks: Home of the Greater Midwest Lego Train Club. The warehouse was actually one of dozens of warehouses in a converted industrial building in Minneapolis, and they had signs in the labyrinth of hallways pointing you towards the Brickmania warehouse. I tried to stand in front of those signs along the way, or draw his attention elsewhere (LOOK! Over there!) when a sign was approaching – but eventually he caught sight of one and the jig was up. We also stopped by the Mall of America because they tore down and rebuilt their entire Lego Store over the summer and we wanted to see the  newly unveiled awesomeness. It was a Lego weekend all around.

I am not a multi-photo scrapper by any stretch of the imagination – so whenever I have several photos I want to include I almost always go searching for a template. I could spend hours here pushing my photos around on the page and never figure out a way to make it look right. I think everyone has their favorite template designers – as far as I’m concerned it’s a good idea to have at least one or two on your proverbial “speed dial” for when you get yourself into a jam, creativity-wise. It’s all about finding one who has the same sort of flow as you do so that you’re not left feeling as though you’re trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. For me, Amy Martin has always designed templates that feel natural to me, and I used one of her templates for my weekend page this week. I can always make sense of her page designs, and when I look at them in the store I can envision exactly which photos will go where and how I’m going to make the page my own. We’re on the same wavelength. Do you have that person?

On this template I just used the paper circles as photo masks and it worked out perfectly. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.

The Weekend | Feb. 12-13

JOURNALING: It was a well staged surprise that began a little over a month ago when Tom was browsing the Brickmania.com website and happened to see that they hold open houses on the second Saturday of every month. We logged it into our calendars and decided not to mention anything to Nicholas because a lot can happen when you make plans that far out – plus it’s just fun to mess with him a bit. We told him that we were going to Minneapolis, but billed it as a routine trip to IKEA and then threw in mention of some dress shopping (for me) just to  really make him dread the trip.  We get so few perks as parents, so I like to make the most of it. When we got to the warehouse I tried to draw his attention away from all the signs announcing where we were, but eventually he caught sight of one. They spent over an hour inspecting all the fine details of the displays and Nicholas walked away with some new BrickArms for his collection – then we grabbed a quick lunch at the Edina Grill (best grilled cheese sandwich on earth) and headed to the Mall of America to check out the newly unveiled LegoStore remodel. The main store had been shut down for months while they tore it down to the floor and started rebuilding it again -and the new design is nothing short of spectacular. It was the perfect trip for two Lego uber-fans, and Nicholas wound up walking away with a few more kits in tow. He billed it as the “best weekend of his life” but we’ve heard that before – usually whenever Legos are involved, actually! And no dress shopping, after all.

MATERIALS: Template from Papery Templates 4 by Amy Martin; Background paper from Little Honeybee; gingham paper from Focal Point; bricks (recolored), button (recolored), tag and bow (recolored) from Creator; Date stamp from Modern Dates all by One Little Bird; off-white paper and drawn circles from Dialogue by Paislee Press & One Little Bird; Crinkle-bets Alpha (Lower Case) by Zoe Pearn; Font is Pea Devon from www.kevinandamanada.com

About This Project: A Year of Weekends is an ongoing album project that embodies my desire to stay grounded in the everyday unsung moments that make up the weekends of my life while also giving me a playground to express myself through design and storytelling – without any pressure to be poignant or a trendsetter. My goal is to always design these pages around products I already own or designed myself, which allows me to revisit some of my favorite kits and products and either use items for the first time or see previously used products in a whole new light. Sometimes the pages will be irreverent, other times they’ll be serious or emotional, but all of them are created in celebration of the extraordinarily ordinary moments that fill the 48 hours of each weekend.

Feel free to join in and post links to your own pages in the comments. Don’t worry about what products you use, all stories are welcome.