Friday, May 30, 2008

"Natural" Layout and Punch Tutorial

I whipped this page out last night lickety split (does that saying date me? LOL!). Under an hour... pretty good for me. It usually takes me 2 - 3 hours. I used the Pencil Lines sketch again. This was just a fun, non-person LO to do. I used the All Moments Remembered May kit again, for the paper and the AC felt letters. Still have lots of paper left from that kit.

Here's the layout. The tutorial for the punch will follow:

Here's a close up of the big felt flower, it's a Creative Cafe flower that I got last week. I stapled it on... I like how it ended up looking with the staples in it:

And, here's just the little flowers close up:

Punch Tutorial

Now, hopefully, I'll be able to explain this easily. If you look at the layout above, it looks like I ripped a sheet out of a tablet, but I didn't. I punched all those holes, with a single punch! I started out how anyone would and punched 3 holes, but they were all crooked, up and down...so I thought for a minute, how can I make these line up? I couldn't see the line I drew once I put the punch in place... if only this punch had an adjustable back like on the Crop-A-Dile. So, here's what I came up with. I took a scrap length of paper and put it in the punch, then on top of that I slid in the paper I wanted to punch, but not the whole way back, just to where I wanted the punch hole to be. I marked that with a pencil, took the paper out of the punch, took my ruler and drew a line the entire length of my scrap piece of paper:
Then, I lined up my "good" paper along the line and tacked it down with a few pieces of double sided tape. Now I can punch. Just put your paper into the punch and let your "guide" piece hit the back of the punch:
That's it, just slide it along until you have punched a whole row, or however many you want. I think this will work with a circle punch to get that stamped look, just do the same thing using a scrap piece of paper as your guide.

Look how straight the punched holes are:

Next, I just took my paper piercer and "ripped" each hole.

End result - looks like it came from a tablet. You can rough up the edges a bit to make it look more authentic:

I'm sure those of you with a Bind-It-All can do this in 2 seconds, but this worked for me and my $1 punch. Yep, $1 at Mikes on clearance.

On a side note: just wanted to wish my cyber pal ERIKA a Happy Birthday!! Visit her blog Scrapbook Obsession and wish her a Happy Birthday!


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

News & A Layout

I was very excited to find out that Pencil Lines chose my New Orleans layout for their reader gallery for Sketch #58. How cool! That was the first time I used their sketch and the first time to submit! Woo-hoo.

Here's one of the layouts that I did this weekend. I had it on my desk a while. These pictures are from my DD's 10th birthday party. I bought the Confetti line of paper for this from MME. Also the "party girls" acrylic title is MME, too. It's a cute line. The green journaling card is from MME, but not from the confetti line, but I liked it better than the one they had in that line.

I put these mardi grass masks on the girls in photoshop, since they're not my kids, and I don't know how the mom's would feel about me putting their children on the net. Heather, the DT Coordinator on All Moments Remembered chose this layout yesterday for her "Caught My Eye Tuesday"... that was pretty exciting too... a good scrappy day!

If you have sheets and sheets and sheets of unused rub-ons like I do, this is a good way to use them up!

Here's the layout:


Also, wanted to show you this neat little "worry doll" my DD made. She made it from toothpicks, glue and some embroider floss. She put tiny beads in her hair and even made a little purse for her... too funny. You're supposed to put the doll under your pillow... I guess it takes your worries away.... I think I'll need a bigger doll!


Have a worry free day! ; )

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Today is Memorial Day - it commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service. I had an uncle die in WWII. His body was buried at sea. His name was John. My dad's oldest brother. Since I was born in 1967, I never met him. My dad was the baby boy of the family, so he never really met him either. Every man in my life was in the military. My dad (Army), his dad, my uncles, my husband (Army), his dad (Navy). Also, my cousin Cindy was in the Air Force, her son just enlisted, and her hubby is soon to retire from the Air Force.

In honor of this day, I thought I'd post a picture of my dad's platoon. I couldn't find his nice Army picture, but I'd never seen this one before. It was tucked in the back of my mom's album that I snagged after she passed away.

Here's his platoon:

Here's a close up of my dad... it's actually funny, his eyes are closed! My goodness he is young:

While looking thru old photos this morning, I came across the neatest little picture binder. It is so cool. I had seen 2 photos that were torn out and still had the frayed edges on them. Leaving the torn edges is really trendy right now in scrapbooking, so I thought it was pretty cool. Then I found the whole book where the pictures were torn from... even cooler.


Here are 2 additional photos, when the book is open. The photo on the left is my DH's brother Keith, and the one on the right is his mom, who is pregnant with his brother Warren. This is 1960:


I'm going to try to scrap these some how. I'd like to try to imitate the whole binder thing being ripped out. This could be easily done in a digi layout, but I'm going to try to do it in paper.

Today is also a day for picnics and visiting families. I hope everyone has a great day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Retouching and Color Correcting in Photoshop

For the most part, my little camera takes pretty good pictures. However, sometimes you'll get the occasional shot that is great, posed great, but there are distracting things in the background and the lighting wasn't right. Don't let those things ruin what could be a really great photo. This is also really good when you scan images.

Here's one I took of our dog, Sophie. Loved the shot, but boy was the color off:

Being from a graphic design background, I've used photoshop for years to retouch photos. I first started retouching photos back in 1988 using an airbrush, paint and actually spraying on the photo. I think I used guache, it was real thick. I remember the first photo I had to retouch, it was a black and white photo of a ballerina, and she had sweaty armpits, so I had to remove the sweat. Photoshop is a much easier, quicker and a less messy way to "airbrush" photos.

Use the clone tool:


To correct the above photo, I removed the tree from behind Sophie's head, which was really distracting, and corrected the color. I also took out the white slobber from her mouth. It was super easy to take out the tree. Using the cloning tool, pick a pretty decent sized brush (in the above picture, the brushes are located in the upper left under the word Photoshop) , you don't want a brush that is so small that it will take you forever, or one that is too large, because then you'll be "airbrushing" over things that you want to keep. Just copy some grass and "dab" over the tree. To "copy" the grass, while in the cloning tool, hold down the option key and click. (I'm on a mac, may be different on a PC)

To get the softness of her hairs on her right ear to not look touched up, I simply went over to her left ear, and using the cloning tool, I copied the top of her left ear hairs along with some grass, went over to her right ear and "stamped" where the soft hairs are sticking up into the grass. When you make your copy, make sure you have some of the background and some of the hairs on the ear. Then I just stamped a few times until it looked correct. If the color of the ear or grass looks funny, go back to the other ear and try again. You can always go in and refine a piece of cloning by using a smaller stamp.

Using the same steps, but a smaller brush, I removed her spit.

Color Correction:
There are a lot of different ways to color correct. I'm going to just tell you about the ways I find our the easiest for beginners. The first thing I usually do is use a filter.

Once you choose the filter, a window will open giving you different filter options. You have 2 warm filters to choose from and 2 cool filters to choose from. In this particular photos, I could tell that the lighting was too cool, so I added a warm filter. Once you pick the filter, there is a sliding bar and you can choose how much warmth you want to add. Mine is preset to 25, I slid it down to 10. This may be all you need to do. Easy peasy.

Another way to color correct a photo (you can also use this to recolor digi elements) is by using variations:

Here a window opens and you can choose which photo looks best. You'll be able to tell what color needs to be added. You can slide the bar to either coarse or fine, making the changes subtle or dramatic. I tend to slide toward the left, a little less than the middle, you don't want to over saturate or color it and end up with Oompa loompa looking people. You can also make your photo a little darker or lighter.

The last thing I usually do, once I think the color looks better, is I use the brightness and contrast window and do a 10 brightness and a 10 contrast, and once you see the preview, it looks like you peeled off a light gray film from the photo. Really makes the colors pop. Once you master this, you can play with the Hues and saturations. But, for beginners, I think using variations is super easy.

Here's my finished, retouched and color corrected photo, all ready to be printed and placed in a scrapbook page:

Have a great Saturday!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fun Scrappy Shopping Day!!

I went to the big gianormous scrapbook store today. I love that place. It’s called the Scrapbook Super Station and they have just about everything. They had the Bind It All, the ATG, Pink Paislee, MM Noteworthy, Gela Tins, new Basic Grey boxer (although I didn’t buy any), Primas, Creative Cafe... so much more.

First I headed for the Pink Paislee paper, I’ve been drooling over that since CHA....

Then, I got some MM noteworthy, Little Yellow Bicycle, and some crocheted flowers by Imaginisce:

On the way out I asked about acrylic albums, which she had, but not in a shape that I wanted, but on the way back to the register I did spy some grunge board and the price was right, so I snagged some. They also have the Creative Cafe there and it’s like a mini candy store... I loved that... candy jars filled with felt flowers, chipboard shapes and letters... so I picked up some puffy felt flowers and some chipboard shapes... and at the counter she had the cutest little key chain Gela Tin there, so I got 2, one to RAK. Too cute. The circular chip board shape in the photo is light blue, not lavender. It looks lavender on my screen:

I also stopped at a Big Lots, there has been a lot of enabling on the boards, but I only found a pack of K & Co. chipboard shapes, the old fashioned toy ones for $2. They did have the Basic Grey rub ons, but I already had the ones they have. They also had some Basic Grey ribbon, but it was the black and white, so I didn’t need that... I had to practice some restraint!

Gotta run, it’s Grey’s night!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I've Been Busy

Last night I took a break from scrapping. I can’t say that I didn’t do anything creative yesterday, because I did a quick card to send with a puzzle piece I decorated for a friend from the Creative Keepsakes message board. Here’s the decorated puzzle piece:

Here are two closeups of the altered puzzle piece:



I had such fun creating this layout from the All Moments Remembered kit that I got on Monday. The paper was perfect for my New Orleans photos. We went back in 2001, it was lovely, and the food was delicious. Here’s my LO:


Here is a closeup of the fleur de li chipboard piece. I painted it brown, then rubbed some metallic blue paint on with my finger... and it was a bit too blue, so then I toned it down by rubbing some of the brown paint over the blue. Then I scuffed up the edges a bit with an emory board. I think it turned out pretty cool...sort of looks like old metal:


In this close up, I layered 3 flowers and added a Prima brad, it has a cherubic angel on it, which goes with the whole New Orleans French theme:


That’s it for now. On a side note, Blogger has been a bugger this morning, and doesn’t let me use the little picture icon to upload photos... the way around this is to put the pictures in by editing HTML. Since I have my pictures on Flickr, I can just copy the HTML code that Flickr has under my photo, and they pop right in. I don’t know why some days Blogger works and some days it doesn’t.

Have a great day!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scrappy Mail Day!

Woo-hoo! Got my All Moments Remembered May kit... and it’s soooo pretty. I got it for winning the Survivor Challenge. I can’t wait to play with all this scrappy goodness! It’s a really lovely kit, and you can find some great layouts done by the design team here. They have a great DT. Stacey even made a personalized tag for me. How cute!!

Here’s how it came right out of the box, wrapped up in hot pink!
Here’s what was inside, really pretty stuff, and I didn’t have any of it, so no duplicates:


And, here’s one of my favorite LO’s that I did for a contest, didn’t win, but I still love this:


“The time to be happy is now.” --Ingersoll

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Layout

I entered a scraplift challenge on the All Moments Remembered MB, and you had to lift the person who posted before you, so I got Kelliannie. It was fun to finally use that bingo card I’ve had from the Coordinations Kit.

Here’s Kelliannie’s LO here.

And, here’s my take:


Here’s a closeup of the Basic Grey rubons, I overlapped 2 rubons... thought that would look cool. Sorry for the blurry picture.


Here’s a close up of the Making Memories clip... it’s so cute, says “smile”:


Another closeup, this is of the bingo card... I embellished it a bit by using another Basic Grey rubon:


Here’s the last close up... I love close ups because I like to see the detail in LO’s, so when I go to a blog or 2Ps, I love when they show the little things. Here I layered the chipboard letters. I did every other letter with a pop dot to pop it up...plus the title fit better this way and I also embellished the star with a Me & My Big Ideas jewel in the center of the star:



And, on to my Mother’s Day gift. My DH and kids surprised me with an FTD delivery of flowers! It was so sweet. They were pink and white tulips and my DD picked them out. Came in a cool vase, too. Plus, DH ordered me a subscription to Creating Keepsakes mag. Up until this point, I’ve just been buying them (and a few others) from Joannes or Michaels or the bookstore...now I can save my coupon for other scrappy stuff!



Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coffee Rhymes with ~ Joscie!

Well, sort of! LOL!

Yesterday my DH brought me a mysterious package from the mailbox... I wasn't expecting anything, and it was too small for the AMR scrapbooking kit... what could it be? My DH said it was from Hawaii, and right away I knew it had to be from Joscie!!

So, this morning, I had the pleasure of having a cup of coffee with Joscie!


This is me before having some of Joscie's Hawaiian coffee....




And, this is me after having a cup of that delicious brew! Wow! Good stuff!!


THANKS JOSCIE, RHYMES WITH COFFEE!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rejected

Ahhh, rejected again. Now I know how out of work actors feel when going on a million auditions, and gets turned down time and time again. But, they keep plugging away... and so shall I. I guess you gotta keep knockin' on those doors.

Here's my rejected layout that I sent for a page call to CK. There's a LO in the June issue with my same title... so, maybe I'm getting closer to what they're looking for... just maybe....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day... and it will be the first one without my mom. I miss her so much. She was my shopping buddy. I thought of her today when I was in JCPenney trying to pick out a top... I thought, OK mom this is definitely your style, but not mine. Just the little things can remind you of someone dear.

My husband’s mom has also passed away... but in 1993, way before either of my kids were born. 10 years ago, Matt's dad remarried a wonderful woman, Barbara. Barbara is the sweetest, most giving woman. She is really the only “grandma” my kids have now. Barbara was never married before, this is her first marriage! At 60! She totally adopted us and we her. She is “grandma”.

I made this card for her today. We'll be having lunch with her tomorrow. Can't wait for the yummy food.

Here's the card:

I also made this little dedication to my mom.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the momma’s out there!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Feelin' Scrappy

I've been feelin' scrappy lately.... haven't accomplished much, because I'm a slooooowww scrapper. But, I love the process. Here's something I did a while back in February. I really liked it when I did it. I made it a 12 x 6. This is a fun size to do.


This teapot, I made back in high school in ceramics class. Here's the journaling:

When I was in high school I made this teapot in ceramics class. No big deal you would think, lots of people make these . . . not the way I did it. I went outside and dug the clay from our yard. My mom & dad have some property and own part of a creek. There’s always been tons of clay. I took the clay, and dried it out. Then you have to screen the clay, to get all the rocks and “dirt” out. Once you screen it, you add water and some “grog”. Grog is clay that has been fired and then ground into granules of more or less fineness. The clay from my yard was very soft, adding the grog gave some tooth and texture to the clay aiding in the ability of the body to maintain its form during construction. Once this was all mixed, I went through the normal process of throwing clay and forming a pot. The result was a gorgeous teapot that was a labor of love.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

National Scrapbooking Day

How did you spend NSD? Mine was a total BLAST!! I woke up early Saturday morning, packed the car and woke my daughter. She came with me. We hopped on the Pennsylvania turnpike and headed east. Stopping only for some Starbucks coffee, organic chocolate milk and 2 fat free lemon muffins and a pee break! LOL! We arrived at Michelle's right on time, 9:30 AM... we were due at the Flower and Craft Warehouse in Blue Ball just outside of Lancaster at 10. We had their cropping room booked for the day. Once we arrived, I was totally overwhelmed at the vastness of the store. It is a WAREHOUSE! They had everything crafty... silk flowers, art supplies, wedding supplies... you name it.

I shopped first, then scrapped and chatted. I worked on some ATC's for a swap at All Moments remembered. We played a game and had a gift exchange.

After the crop, Michelle and I took our girls to a Chinese restaurant where they gorged themselves on crab legs. My DD and I went back to our hotel and she swam for about 45 minutes, then we headed up to our room and off to bed. It was a great day, my DD even said so... although she was a little bored at times.

Here are some photos from the day:
Sitting (l - r): Sillygoosemonkey/Amy; Latte Lover; Suzyq;
Standing (l - r): Scrappinpjs/Paula; Chris(pea); Shelle's 2 Girls/Michelle; Jerseygrlscrapper/Lucy (in the pink & black); aylapiper/Beatrice (in the blue); Mjay (in the black); Craftcornercindy/Cindy (in the white & blue); Christy0212; & kck182/Kristin.







With the gift exchange, I had Mjay's and it was a Creating Keepsakes scrapbooking kit. It is really nice. I used some of the papers last night to make a card for my son's teacher ~ for teacher appreciation week.


Hope you all had a great National Scrapbooking Day!!