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I have a love-hate relationship with mixed media. Minimal mixed media is my answer to having fun with techniques without fear of all of the mess! This technique is easy and might I say, foolproof due to its resettable nature.

I am scrapbooking a fond memory from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in today's layout! I was lucky enough to be chosen for the wand ceremony at Olivander's Wand Shop. And what a magical experience indeed! I wanted this page to emulate just that. I thought a little bit of mixed media could assist in my attempt to create a surreal page full of magic and mystery. Check out the process video here or watch it below to see it all unfold.

Whether this inspires you to dive head first into mixed media or just to make a magical layout, I hope you enjoyed! I think I will be back soon with some more ideas on how to use modeling paste and texture combs! Let me know if you think I should bring back the Minimal Mixed Media series in full force. If you want to catch up on past episodes, check them out here!

Supply List:*Purchasing through some of these links is part of an affiliate program and I will receive a small portion of the sale at no additional cost to you.

Finding a hidden gem in Central Florida can seem hard. It seems every good thing is spoiled quickly as word spreads, but each time I have gone to this little hidden gem, I am wowed how there aren't more people there! The best part about this hidden gem of Central Florida is that it is completely free! Throughout this post, I will be sharing photos with you from my several trips there to help convince you that you need to visit!

Welcome entrance sign to Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
This is how you know you reached the right place!

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is an incredible experience along an 11-mile one-way drive through the nature preserve managed by the St. John's Water Management District. Open only Friday-Sunday and select Federal holidays from 7 am - 3 pm with the entrance located at 2850 Lust Road Apopka, Florida 32703. Keep up to date with operating hours and trail closures with their Facebook page.

A Moorhen swimming on top of the water.
There are tons of Moorhens throughout the drive.

While this is an easily overlooked option for a day trip in Central Florida, it is easily one of the best places to witness true Florida wildlife from the comfort of your own vehicle, and don't forget, it is free! It is well-known by the birding community for being the home for over 350 species of birds whether year-round or just for migration. Get a greater look at the wildlife in action by checking out my video diary of this trip!

Great blue heron crosses the road
It's also common to see several Great Blue Herons

If you are able to stay still long enough you may get to witness a bird capture lunch!

Throughout the free audio tour, you can hear more about the wildlife. In addition to the numerous birds, you can also get an up-close look at alligators sunning along the banks of the water, hiding in the lily pads, or swimming down to the lake. While it is a unique experience to see so many alligators in one place, it is also very important to remember to never feed or approach any wildlife.

Once you start spotting gators it won't stop!

Keep your eyes peeled for these hidden gator positions

Here are some of my top tips for spotting more of the wildlife:

  1. Drive slow! Let others pass you during pull-offs so you can make the most of your experience.

  2. Look for the photographers! This is a hot spot for birding and wildlife photographers. If you see their large lenses out, be sure to stop and look in the same direction. A lot of people are friendly and if they appear to be at one of the lookouts ask them if they've seen anything! When I see a large creature I usually am sure to roll down my window and point to indicate to drivers behind us to keep an eye out in the same area.

  3. Eyes to the sky! There are always birds soaring overhead or in the trees that you might miss while looking below for gators or other creatures.

  4. Go to the lookouts! There are quite a few lookouts and trails you can explore on foot for quieter places to see some beautiful views and more wildlife. Check out the Lake Apopka map here to plan your experience!

  5. Bring the proper gear to enjoy the experience! If you plan on staying in your vehicle, I recommend some binoculars! An inexpensive pair like these will help you get more detailed looks at the gators and birds. If you plan on taking some of the hikes, ensure you bring the proper amount of water for the hot Florida days and sunscreen! If you plan on taking the bike route, a water pack like this one may make it easier to stay hydrated!

This little inlet of water had over 12 gators in it, only 2 are pictured here!

If you live in or are visiting Central Florida anytime soon, I hope the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive will be on your list for consideration. If you are interested in supporting the efforts of the St. John's Water Management District with this nature preserve of Lake Apopka, you can donate on their website. Nature lovers can find this escape only 20-minutes away from Orlando to enjoy some beautiful wildlife on the weekends. Let me know if you have visited or want to soon in the comments! Thanks for stopping by.

Always have your camera at the ready, the wildlife is everywhere around you!

There's nothing quite like finding the perfect collection to pair with the photos you want to scrapbook. That's how I felt when I saw these photos and uncovered the Pinkfresh Studio Noteworthy collection in my stash. Purple is hard to come by in most scrapbooking collections, but Noteworthy makes it a star! Funny enough, they even have a floral ephemera piece that matches the flower picture I took!

This is my first video back in a while and I hope you enjoy the process! It is always so nice to be inspired by a project video. I hope this may bring some inspiration to you as you scrapbook some spring stories this coming season.

Traveler's notebooks are a great option for a collection of small stories for a season, occasion, or period of time! That's why I chose a traveler's notebook for my Florida Fall album. I knew many stories wouldn't take up many pages or warrant a 12x12 spread, but wanted to capture the season in a small format. If you want more traveler's notebook videos check them out here!

While this is my 2021 Fall album, a Florida Fall is a bit different than the northeast I grew up in. While the leaves change for some trees it is alongside blossoming flowers, no fear of frost, and bright sunshiny days! That's why the Noteworthy collection was perfect for these spring-like photos.

This page is all about layering! I used some beautiful washi tape, border strips, and stickers from my stash to create small clusters. When it comes to small canvases like this one, you want to make sure you still have some breathing room often referred to as white space. I combined a busier side on the right, with a single picture and simple title on the left. You want to balance your elements on each individual page and as the pages together.

I hope you enjoyed this project! Although it is a themed album for autumn, it is okay to break out of a traditional theme to document your stories! I am so happy with how it turned out and so excited to be back to posting videos. If you would like more content from me, join our fun group over on Patreon!

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