Friday, October 29, 2010

How I Feel Today

Credits: Art Doll, Steamer Trunk, Gypsy Call -Tangie Baxter; Fabulous Girl, Loreta Labarca; Nocturn Delight, Ztampf; Here and Now, Rosey Posey and Stolen Momenets collab; Little Thinker Paper, Laura Banasiak

Ever have one of those days?

Here we get technical.....resizing layouts for the web

Oooops! I forgot to post this when I was sharing my digi stuff!!!.....

A little something I learned, that I wish someone had told me about digital layouts.....they take up room! 

I like to create my layouts as 12x12 at 300 dpi, but then I resize them to 8.333 x 8.333 inches (or 600 x 600 pixels) and 72 dpi (for posting on the internet), which will usually shrink the file size from 10 MB to about 192kb - a HUGE savings on space.  I save all my layouts in PSD (the type of file created by Photoshop and Elements) and as a smaller JPG file, for sharing. Why save that big PSD file? Read on.

One big reason to save your layered file is that you can see what you've used. When I started out, I'd post my completed layouts without giving credit to the designers who make the elements and kits that I used....a no-no and just bad form. Since I saved all the layered files before squishing them into a merged file, I could go back and see what I used and properly give credit where I posted. 

Another reason? Um....typos! I've made more errors in spelling on my layouts than I care to share, and though I'm all about "being real", I can't get past a typo on my work. With the layered file, I can go back in and edit that layer, rather than starting over or just "dealing with it".

I also find that if I want to print my layouts at home, I'll have to resize to 8x8 @ 300 dpi to get a crisp image that my home printer will print. For this reason, I suggest saving your layered PSD file (the type of file created by Photoshop and Elements) as a full sized layout @ 300 dpi, as it gives me the ability to re-open that file and merge layers and resize the page to what I need. Once all the layers are merged (which I do by right clicking on the bottom layer of my completed layout), I Save As a .jpg file, which I can then share on the web, in email, on Facebook, on the blog....

Additionally, some of the galleries you can post to will limit the size of the file you post.  For example, MyScrapbookArt is 154 kb max....which I can rarely do...I'm sure I just need to work at figuring that out, but Photoshop Elements does have a feature called Save for Web, which allows you to define the optimal size for your layout, which is much better than the guess and check method I started out using.

I've just re-read and I can see how this would be like reading Chinese if you aren't familiar with all this. Sorry!!! Once you start playing with it, it'll make more sense, I promise (no, I hope!). Those tutorials I shared with you earlier in the week will help, too.

So, here are my steps:
File - New - Blank Page
....create something layered (see previous posts for sites that have tutorials on how to do this.....)
Save PSD file with all layers open
Right Click on bottom layer and Merge layers
Image - Resize - Image Size (see sizes I use above) and save as a JPEG to post, print, etc.

Are you still with me?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well, of course, I made digi scrapbook layouts, silly!

There are so many digi scrapbook kits to choose from!

Here are a few of my Halloween layouts, some old, some new, that I've made.

The pieces used come from a variety of sources: Laura Banasiak, Tangie Baxter, Rosie Posey, Holliewood Studios, Sherrie JD.....if something sparks your interest, leave me a comment and I'll let you know the source...Enjoy!


 Happy Haunting!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting Ready for Halloween

This Halloween has been just a little more interesting since we've been selected to hand out the new Snickers product that comes out in the winter. After entering a contest on the SheSpeaks website, we were chosen to receive some free goodies to help promote their new product, and had a lot of fun getting my sister's front yard ready for Halloween. Here's our video:

Come back tomorrow for some more Halloween goodies.....I've been making Halloween scrapbooking layouts!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Halloween was never one of my favorites, but since I've had kids, I seem to have warmed up to it a bit.

I don't like spooky things. I don't like scary movies. I like to see my kids get all excited, though, and I love help them pull together the costume they've been dreaming about since last Halloween. This year, I've been extra busy, with all the things I've overcommitted myself with. So, I'm extremely proud of my daughter for making a costume for her brother. With the help of her Nana, in from Oregon (or is it Washington these days?), she put together the costume he's been talking about all summer.

With the creative vision of a contestent on Project Runway, they scoured the local Goodwill store to find just the right garments to execute their vision. He's even convinced me to let him grown his hair out just to be Link from the Legend of Zelda games. Although it's not quite Halloween, the kids did go trick or treating in their Grandma's neighborhood for a pre-Halloween practice run. Ana's not in her costume here. She's still working on her Hello Kitty costume (which required another trip to Goodwill today), but I can share some pictures of Matt in his costume...though, it's kind of hard to see all the detail....I'll post more after the "real" Halloween.


Come back and visit tomorrow for the video we made for being selected to hand out Snicker's new candy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sharing a Link....{simply.scraps}: Cookies & Tea for 2 Gift Set Hybrid Project by Amanda

{simply.scraps}: Cookies & Tea for 2 Gift Set Hybrid Project by Amanda

For a REALLY cute hybrid digital project -- check this link out!  Just goes to show you, this whole digital thing has practical (and super cute) applications as well!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today, We Share Our Work

Another thing I quickly learned about the digital world was that getting feedback was easy and, like blog comments, strangely addicting! Most of these encouraging people were perfect strangers who also loved the digital offshoot of the hobby, and left "love" for whatever I was brave enough to post in a gallery....(a gallery is often found in a store, though some digi sites are purely for sharing your completed pages....).

One word of advice....just as in life, you have to give love to get love in return....or at least you should. 

This is how I found Log Your Memory, a site dedicated to sharing layouts and inspiring others to use this hobby to preserve memories of everyday life. You have a pile of laundry to the ceiling…take a picture of it and write about why spending time with your family is the tradeoff you make for daily chores, or write about your family’s laundry routines. The idea being, one day, you may want to remember what it was like to live every regular day, not only the birthdays, holidays, and other big events of your life.

When it comes down to it, the everyday routines are what make up a life, and the big events are just frosting on the cake. If you are already a fan of or familiar with Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske, and Stacy Julian, you know that this focus of the hobby has a great following. I always think of it this way, I’d love to know how my Grandma, who’s no longer with us, felt about my mom’s first day of kindergarten, or how she felt when she was learning to drive and crashed into the garage and never drove again, or what it was like for her growing up. She didn’t keep a journal, so I’ll never know these things, so I’m trying to leave some of these memories of my own for my kids, their kids and their grandchildren. Scrapping about everyday life is not only the good stuff, but also the bad, though I tend to keep those pages to myself right now.

Log Your Memory is run by Kristen Rutten, who I’m sure has figured out how to get 30 hours of stuff into a 24 hour day. Maybe even 31 hours. Her store offers a Logbook to keep track of those everyday happenings and weekly challenges and prompts to help you tell your story.

(I’m not compensated in any way by Kristen to advertise, but her site propelled my excitement with this hobby, and I think she’s done a great job of inspiring others as well).

The challenge early this year, Sweet Talk Challenge, gave us 13 different ways to tell our stories. The challenge may be over, but the methods are still a great way to start journaling. There are loads of other inspirations all over the site – hopefully, you’ll be inspired by something there like I was.

Other places you might want to share you work, and stores I frequent (though there are many, many others)

Scrapbookgraphics – my current favorite haunt
The Digi Chick – this is the store the designer I CT (creative team) for sells – she’s Laura Banasiak and she’s cool and fun, and can also cram 30 hours a day into 24
Sweet Shoppe Designs
After 5 Designs
Gotta Pixel
The Lily Pad

Do you already have a favorite site? Share it here!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where to Learn Digital Scrapbooking or "I did it my way"

Despite my misgivings, I made an honest attempt to learn digital scrapbooking in January, after finding this year-long free class being offered by Erica Hernandez at Two Peas in a Bucket: Digi 101. I watched the first tutorial video and played along with making the layout.

There were three things I discovered in this first class that got me hooked:
1) designers of digital scrapbooking papers and elements (this is what embellishments are called in the digi world) are wonderfully generous individuals who often give freebies of their design kits for people to try before they purchase a full kit - a search for digital scrapbook freebies in Google will find you lots of freebies from digital stores and these wonderfully generous designers,
2) if I didn't like the way something looked on my page, I could move it, resize it, duplicate it, recolor it, not to mention I could REUSE it!,
and 3) cleanup for this hobby is a breeze! (Though it does take some space on the computer).

I won’t be sharing the how to put a page together here; those tutorials have been done by many others who are way better at that than I am.

Here are just a few other places to get started with the nuts and bolts:

The Daily Digi and lots of tutorials to get you started there – on the right side of the page, you’ll see tons of links on how to get started, how to learn the programs you’re using, how to do certain techniques. Bookmark it!

Ali Edwards did a series of tutorials on digi, too.

Cathy Zielske walks you through creating a 12x12 page here.

And don’t forget Erica Hernandez’s class I mentioned earlier, Digi 101. There are other tutorials on the Two Peas in a Bucket Site, as well.

Other gurus: Jessica Sprague, Renee Pearson (though I think these cost $)

If you know of any others you’ve come across, please share here.

***Note: I’m not compensated in any way from these designers or sites. I’ve been asked often, how I learned and these are the places where I started learning.

 Next Up: How to Share Your Work and Real Life Scrapbooking, Digi-Style

Monday, October 11, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking....So, Here's Where to Start.....

In case you haven't noticed, or you are new to my blog, I really enjoy digital scrapbooking.

Before I started really trying to learn in January this year (after some failed attempts), I thought of it is "cheating" in some way. I had been a paper scrapper for 15 years. I liked to buy stickers and paper and adhesive. I liked to print photos and arrange embellishments onto a layout and create a finished page that I could put into an album to share with others. I still like to do that, especially with my creatively, inspiring friends in the Scrapbook Cellar. Nothing beats real live friends getting together to create, inspire, and support each other. But, day to day, I don't have all the time to haul out my supplies, ponder an arrangement, complete a page, and then clean it all up (I have a dedicated creative space, but it's in the front room of my house...the first thing you see when you come in, so I like it tidy, and I share it with my creative daughter, who usually has her projects drying on the table. So, I'd really need to add another step to getting creative on a daily basis, as I'd be the one most likely to clear off her work in progress before I could even have room to start mine.) This is where using the computer came in handy for me, and the start of my digital obsession.

For this hobby, I use Photoshop Elements. I'm using version 7, but I think they've just released, or are about to release version 9. I've had PE, as it's referred to, since version 3, but back then, I only used it to store and sort my photos. I had no clue of the full capabilities of this program until I started digital scrapbooking, and even then, there is so much more I need to learn to get it's full usefulness. There are other programs you can use, the full Photoshop (which is expensive, so I don't have) and Paint Shop Pro (which I've never used). Likely there are more out there, I'm just not familiar with them.

So, to start, you'll need a program to work in, some digital papers and elements (which I'll talk about in the next post), and a little time and patience to learn.

Tomorrow, I'll share where I started learning about how to do digital scrapbooking. I'll also be posting my journey into digital all this week, and how I went from this:

To this:

Here's the plan:

Tuesday: Digi 101,  tutorials

Wednesday:  Feedback, Real life Scrapbooking, Telling Your Story, and Log Your Memory

Thursday:  A valuable lesson in resizing your layouts

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's 10-10-10.....Here's what I won't be doing!

And sweetheart, if you're reading this.....I love you! 

If you have been following my blog, you know that I've being doing a lot of digital layouts this year. Many have asked me how to start, how to learn, and what goes into a digital scrapbooking layout. Every day this week, I'll be posting my journey into digital. Please come join me!

Also, if you are on Facebook, my blog now has it's own space in the grand scheme of FB....come join me on So, That's Why here!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy, Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

My baby is 9. Oh, where has the time gone?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What sets your creativity on fire?

Here's what sets mine a blaze:

Now, how about you?
 I'd love to know!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When you are a 9 year old boy, you'll understand....

1. That bouncing for an hour and a half is fun.

2. That shooting your friends with neon orange and green foam "bullets" is fun. (Even though your mama HATES the idea of you playing with guns, she's conceded to letting you as long as they are neon orange, yellow and green...I think NERF must have been listening).
3. That chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and fudge filling is a food group.
4. That running for hours makes for a great birthday party (not the mama's idea of a great birthday...give me spa, give me coffee shop, give me casino, even....but running? Not this mama).
5. That when you introduce your friend and say, "I've known him since 3rd grade"'s not as impressive when you are only in 4th grade, but you'll quickly get over that.
6. That your birthday can't come FAST ENOUGH!!!
7. That Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos is also a food group.
8. That's is cool to have an older boy cousin who knows how to play Halo Reach. (Even if he wins the tournament and gets the Cheeto Trophy!)
9. That 20 candles on your cake makes for an impressive display!