Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Category Archives: Photographs

More pages and news from CRD

Guess what?! My things are still available at CRD until tomorrow!!! Here’s part of the most recent message Christina sent out:

Hi everyone, we wanted to let you know that Christina Renee Designs and the Block Party Designers agreed to continue our sale and all the blog freebies through Tuesday, November 4th, CST. Our servers went down during this event for a while and we want to make up for that.

Christina Renee

So if you wanted to pick something up but didn’t have a chance to this weekend, you still have time :)!

The fall foliage is really beautiful in my neighborhood right now! We drove to the local research park the other day to take a walk, and I got lots of great photos. Luckily, there was another family there taking photos, so we offered to take a family photo of them in exchange for them taking one of us :).  I love how the beautiful colors are reflected in the water behind us. I actually took lots of photos with even better fall colors, but they don’t have all of us in them – I will have to scrap those later.

Here’s a page I made with our fall family photo, using the Cozy Sweater kit and my freebie Autumn Word Art:

Photoshop Tips (in PSCS3 – other versions of PS may differ)

  • To get the angled look above, I cropped the photo before placing it on the page. I duplicated the photo layer, used the move tool to rotate it, flattened the image and cropped it into a rectangle. Then, I added the cropped photo to the page, and rotated it until the horizon line was level again, stretching the edges of the photo off the sides of the layout.
  • Even though it is at an angle, it was still easy to matte the photo above: in the layers palette, I right-clicked on the thumbnail of the photo layer and chose “select pixels”, then, from the pull-down menu: select>modify>expand>50 pixels, and in the same menu: select>inverse. THEN: I switched to the yellow paper layer I had placed below the photo and clicked “delete”!
  • I created the subtle, stitched leaf pattern on the orange paper by arranging the felt leaves on the background and changing their blend mode to “lighten”.
  • To make the red felt “AUTUMN” in the title, I used the type tool to write the word (with the Impact font). Then, in the layers palette, I right clicked the layer and chose “Rasterize Type”. Lastly, I layered a couple of the felt hat elements from the kit over the word, and used ctrl+alt+g on them to create a clipping mask. I also selected the layers and merged them (ctrl+e), then duplicated the felt layer and changed the blend mode to multiply (lowering the opacity a bit) to darken it a bit.
  • Don’t forget that when playing with blend modes, you can duplicate the layers to incorporate even more blend modes – I used this technique on all three parts of the title :)!

Oh, and here are some other great sightings of the Cozy Sweater kit at CRD:

Ruth

Ruth

Rachel

Rachel

Anniversary Memory Book

Today my husband and I celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary!! Each year that goes by is more wonderful than the last and we have made so many memories, which will be cherished always. He is my best friend and he knows how to fill my heart with pure bliss! I’m working on a special memory album to celebrate romantic highlights from our first five years of marriage, but it isn’t ready yet. I am taking my time because I want it to be perfect :)!

Last year I made a Shutterfly photo book as an anniversary gift for Chris, and that one wasn’t done in time for the actual day either – and I also never had a chance to post photos of the finished book here. So, in honor this special day, here is a gallery of photos from my all time favorite Shutterfly photo book: “Autumn in New England”!

If you click on the thumbnail photos below, you will be able to see a larger image and a description of the photo – PLUS Shutterfly photo book tips for those interested :)!

Credits: I believe all of the digital designs used in this book were created by Shabby Princess, Shabby Miss Jenn and Lanne; except for the last layout, which uses this collab kit (which is on sale now and actually about to be retired). I created this photo book almost a year ago, so I may have forgotten something – if you see one I missed, please let me know!

Adobe Photoshop Express (BETA) is FREE!!!!!!!!!

This is NOT an April fools joke people, I signed up for my own Adobe Photoshop Express account to make sure :)! If you are looking for a fast, easy, awesome and especially FREE way to edit, organize and share your digital photos, you MUST check this out!!

I have literally only played around with this tool for less than 10 minutes, and I think it’s great! It is NOT a program you can do digi scrapping or in depth editing with – it’s mostly just for quick photo fixes. In a couple of minutes you can transform your photo from drab to dramatic, here’s one I played with really quick:

Photoshop Express Example

Like I said, I’ve only played with it for a few minutes, but so far here’s what I love about Adobe Photoshop Express (BETA):

  • It’s free, and it is online, so I didn’t need to download a program or anything.
  • It works with other free online photo management programs I use (photobucket and Picasa), so I could access those photos without having to upload them again.
  • It is SUPER user friendly and automated - you select an editing mode, and Photoshop Express instantly gives you several versions of your photo to choose from, side-by-side so you can see what looks best.

Photoshop Express Example 2

Of course the full version of photoshop will still be my main editing program, but I think this will be my program of choice for quick photo edits for blogging, emailing and sharing online :).

If you want to learn more, check out this post by John Nack (Adobe Photoshop Senior Product Manager ).

Important: before you share any photos publicly through this site, make sure you read the terms of use (especially section 8)! Apparently Adobe IS working on revising the terms so they don’t sound so scary LOL, but I would still think twice before making a public gallery there :).

Prima Hybrid Grand Opening Blog Party!

There’s a Grand Opening Celebration at Prima Hybrid Today!

25% off everything, challenges, freebies, chat, and more…

Click here to find out more at the Prima Hybrid Forums!

So some of the Flower Girls (Prima Hybrid Creative Team) are hosting a blog party to help celebrate :)! We are each giving away a FREE 8×8 digital template or quick page.

Here’s mine (click here to download)! Don’t miss the links to the other Flower Girl blogs with free templates listed at the end of this post!!

FREE Template

This template was inspired by my hybrid layout L O V E (click for credits):

L O V E

L O V E Details:

L O V E Details

Tips and Tricks:

  • I printed a beautiful digital design by Vera Lim on textured cardstock for the background of my page.
  • When I distressed the black and white photos (printed in a photo lab) with sandpaper and scratched them with a needle other color layers were exposed.
  • I used circle punches to highlight special details from a few color photos.
  • The verse was stamped onto vellum paper, and the word “Love” was printed onto another piece of vellum paper, then I layered the two to create an elegant effect.

I know some of you are afraid to leave empty “white space” areas on your pages, but I really think that’s what makes this design work, especially when using the big swirls!

Here is a digital page I made with this template (click here for credits):

Grandma Loves You

I hope you enjoy this template :)! Make sure you stop at the other Flower Girl blogs listed below to pick up some more great templates. And if you use them with products from Prima Hybrid, please share your creations with us in the Prima Hybrid Gallery!

Andrea: http://www.andreagourley.blogspot.com/ (template)
Julie Ann: http://jshahin.blogspot.com/ (quick page)
Danielle: http://www.danielleflanders.blogspot.com/ (template)
Jess (that’s me)! https://scrapbookideas.wordpress.com/ (template)
Kristin: http://wyowoman.blogspot.com/ (template)
Amy: http://alb52.typepad.com/ (template)
Melinda: http://myscrapcorner.blogspot.com/ (template)
Di: http://dihickman.blogspot.com/(template)

(NEW!) AND Cathy: http://paper-cat.blogspot.com/ (template)

Machine Stitching on Scrapbook Pages

I finally have some non-digital pages to share with you, well - MOSTLY non-digital, the second page is hybrid :). I actually made these a while ago for the design team at my local scrapbook store, but I forgot to take photos before I handed them in! But since my term with the scrapbook store is now over I just got all of my pages back. All the paper I used is from Fancy Pants Design, mostly from the Sweet Pea Collection. The transparent stickers are  Rain Dots, by Cloud Nine Design. I made the journaling block digitally and printed it out on cardstock. The digital stamp I used is by Michelle Coleman, of Little Dreamer Designs. The Sweet Pea papers I used are also by Michelle – how cool to be able to use both digital and paper designs from the same artist :)! Sorry for the bad photos, I can never get them to look as nice as the real thing…

Both Pages

Magic Moments Left

Magic Moments Right

Magic Moments L -Detail

Magic Momnets R -Detail

Tips and Tricks

  • I cut the “Rain Dots” out individually (with the backing still on) and arranged them on my page before sticking any of them down.
  • All of the sewing is just for decoration – I sewed the paper before I adhered it.
  • I took these photos of Gabe while he was inside the playground equipment on a bright sunny day. I love the interestingly colored photos that resulted.
  • To add the angel wing, I used a craft knife to cut along the edge of Gabe’s shoulder and arm, then I slipped the wing into the little pocket created by the cut.
  • I only adhered one side of the wing and hat, then I curled the other side away from the page to add some extra dimension. 

Technique: Machine Stitching on Scrapbook Pages

I love the look of stitching on scrapbook pages and cards! Up until recently, I always added stitches by hand, because I didn’t have a sewing machine. But now that I have my very own sewing machine, given to me by my family on my last birthday, I was finally able to try machine stitched scrapbooking :)!

I was very lucky to find this helpful tutorial by Julia Stainton on the topic, which gave me confidence to actually sew on my papers! I could repeat a lot of what she said, but she really seems to be an expert and she covers pretty much everything in her tutorial, so I highly recommend that you check it out! The only thing I did that was a little different was that I sewed my papers before adding them to the page, then I adhered them with double-sided tape.

I have a very basic Janome sewing machine, and the settings I used were: Tension: 5, Stitch Pattern: A, Stitch Length: 4. I practiced on scrap papers first until I determined these settings, then I sewed on the actual papers. I think it is a good idea to choose a long stitch length, because if the stitches are too close together, the thread might tear through your paper. It is also important to get the thread tension just right (again, I highly recommend this article). I like the look of freestyle stitching, so I just started on one edge, sewed almost to the other side, advanced the needle by hand for a few stitches, and with the needle still down (in the paper), I lifted the presser foot and pivoted the paper 90 degrees to sew along the next edge. After making a few laps around the paper I  trimmed the threads really close (no need to tie a knot or anything). That’s it! Next I would like to try some zig-zag stitching, or as Julia suggests, mix a few different types of stitching together!

Have you used machine stitching on your pages? Please share your projects, tips etc. I’d love to learn more :)! 

Photography Tips for Christmas Lights

Kim HillTips from Photographer Kim Hill: Ideas for taking great pictures of Christmas lights
Interview by Jess Gordon

While looking at some of my photos of last year’s Christmas tree, I remembered that I had read a really helpful article by Kim Hill in the December 2006 issue of DST Insider (newsletter of digishoptalk.com). Actually, there were lots of great tips from several photographers in that issue, but my favorite part was this section about how to photograph your Christmas tree. Here are the tips from Kim as they appeared in that article:

Photo by Kim HillI like to use a tripod for the camera, but you could also just set the camera on a stable surface if you don’t have a tripod. Once you find the angle of the tree that you like the best, turn off all other lights in that room and any adjoining rooms where household lights may interfere. Then I set the camera to the bulb or manual setting and adjust for a long exposure – bracketing in increments of a 5 seconds. Last year, I took several shots of my tree until I had one where the lights appeared to have a star-like look to them. The setting I found that created this appearance was ISO 100 at F22 for 30 seconds.

I tried these tips last year and I’m so happy with the results  – click here to see a page I made with my photo of last year’s tree. I recently contacted Kim, and she was nice enough to answer some more questions I had about how to take photos of Christmas lights, I think you’ll appreciate what she shared…

Firstly, could you tell us a bit about your photography background and experience?

Photography has been a love of mine for over 20 years.  My parents gave me my first 35mm camera, a Pentax K1000, on my 16th birthday.  I went on to college at Fashion Institute of Technology and then started assisting a wedding photographer for a couple of years.  After moving across the State, I started up my own wedding photography business which kept me busy for about 8 years.  Hubby and I moved again, and started a family, so my photography business was put on hold for a number of years.  Then in 2005, I got the itch to start up again.  At that time, I made the decision to switch to all digital format and set up a home studio where I have been working ever since.
Photo by Kim HillWhat are your top three favorite ideas for photos of Christmas lights?

(1) Set up a small display of your favorite ornaments.  Try nestling them in a base of pine branches wrapped in lights.

(2) Using a tripod, set up your camera fairly close to the tree and zoom in on just one ornament.  Have a couple of the tree lights pointing toward it so you can get some glow and look for interesting reflections of other ornaments on the tree.

(3) Outdoor lighting displays can look really nice if you photograph them right around sunset.  You’ll still get the glow of the tree lights, but will also get a beautiful color to the surrounding sky.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when taking photos of Christmas lights?  Any other ideas or pointers for us?

I think a lot of people want to get a picture of their tree with the lights glowing, but don’t want the yellow color cast.  If you have a DSLR, you can set the white balance to Tungsten which will help a bit. After you’ve captured the image, you could address any additional color cast concerns by using software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to make some adjustments.

A tripod or other stable surface is really an invaluable tool to capturing that beautiful glow. If you try handholding the camera, your image will be blurred.

Photo by Kim HillUsing a flash will give you a crisp look, but the glow from the tree lights will be lost.  So remember to turn off the flash.

If you have a built-in timer, use it.  This will keep your camera from capturing that little bit of shake when you would normally press the shutter release.

Keep in mind that there is not one perfect setting for your camera.  Each situation will have a unique lighting situation which you will need to experiment with to find the exposure that works best for your desired result.

I got great results following your instructions for photographing Christmas tree lights, even though I have a simple point and shoot digital camera. Do you have any other good tips for those of us who don’t have digital SLRs?

Since each camera is different, you’ll need to read your instruction manual to see if you can turn off the flash or change the ISO, shutter speed, etc.  Even with a point and shoot camera, some of the tips I posted above can be applied.  If you can, turn off the flash.  Set the camera on a stable surface or tripod and use the timer so there is no shake from pressing the shutter release button.

Thanks so much Kim!! I think I’m ready to go take some photos :).

If you’d like to know more about Kim Hill, her photography, and her digital scrapbooking sites, please be sure to check out the links below!

Owner and Designer, CG Essentials
Owner, DigiScrapping Tutorials
Designer, A Cherry on Top
Blog, A Day in the Life of Kim
Photos by Kim Hill

I Love Fall!

Just wanted to share a few fall pages with you and a couple of quick tips :). I don’t know what the weather is like in your area, but it has really just begun to feel like autumn where I am. I just love this time of year, the fall foliage, pumpkins, apples, it’s a time to admire God’s beautiful creation, which leads nicely into Thanksgiving celebrations! Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying the season as much as I am if you have made some fall pages, please share your links in the comments section :).

I made this page using the FREE Harvest Spice kit by Shabby Princess!!

Super Sweet Fall

Tips and Tricks:

  • Using a font like “Acorn Initials” allows you to add some extra color to your title. In your layers palette in Photoshop, just right click on the text layer and choose “rasterize” (or simplify). Then you can use the magic wand tool to select areas of the title to fill with color with the paint bucket tool.
  • Try using elements in new ways; I used a ribbon “tie” one of my words together. 
  • I used my “Leafy Heart” shape template to help showcase some of SP’s gorgeous papers. Then I added a bold photo border by using the eye dropper tool to grab a coordinating color from one of the flowers to fill a couple of the template layers with.  

I used an awesome Weeds and Wildflowers collab kit to make the page below :)

Sweet Little Pumpkins

Technique: Here’s an easy way to get your B&W photo to perfectly match your page: once you convert your photo to B&W, go into your Photoshop layers palette and right click the thumbnail of the photo layer, then choose “select layer transparency”. Next, create a new layer, and fill the selected area with a color that matches your page (in this case, I picked up some of the brown from the background paper). Going back into the layers palette, change the new layer’s blend mode to either “hue” or “color”. 

The following page uses the super fun Smell My Feet kit, by Shabby Princess!

Lovable Lion

Photo “pop” technique: Recently, I accidentally discovered this simple technique that really brings some life to my photos. I have used it on almost every photo since then! Here’s what I do: I use image>adjustments>levels to open the levels window. I move the middle input slider (tiny triangle at the center) all the way over to the left until it overlaps the left input slider (the image looks really white at this point), I click “OK”. Next I use image>adjustments/brightness/contrast to open the brightness/contrast window. I move the contrast slider way over to the right, then adjust the brightness accordingly (usually a little to the left). For the example below, I set the brightness to -20 and the contrast to +87. I have no idea why this trick works, but I love the result :)!

Photo Technique

For this last page, I used my “Mosaic Leaf” shape template to frame my photo, and to show off several papers from Jeannie Papai’s Blissful Fall kit at the same time!

Little Man

Tips and Tricks:

  • This is how I added the monogram “A” to my page; I used the type tool to type a very large letter “A” in a dark brown color I picked up from one of the papers, using the eyedropper tool. I then opened my Photoshop layers palette, and used the drop down menu from the top left corner to select the blend mode called “Soft Light”. Voila!
  • To distinguish the photo layer from the rest of the layers in the “Mosaic Leaf” template, I merged the photo border and photo layers together, then added a drop shadow to the newly created layer. I also rotated the layer and sandwiched another leaf element between it and the lower portion of the leaf template.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. If you have a fall page (or two or three!) to share, please leave a comment and link us up!! 

Featured Scrapper: Beth (kewl_jive)!

BethToday I’d like to feature another digital scrapper I’ve enjoyed getting to know a bit recently - Beth! She goes by the screen name kewl_jive online, and if you’re a digi scrapper you’ve probably seen her around, she’s all over the place :)!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a page of hers that didn’t immediately stand out to me - she has a beautiful, clean, crisp style that is so inspiring.

And I’m not the only one who thinks Beth is an excellent scrapper; she has worked with many different designers and has quite a few publications too! I’ve provided a list of where to find her work at the end of this post, along with links to some places you can see her online.

I asked Beth some questions about herself, her scrapping process and what inspires her to make these gorgeous pages:

First of all, is there anything about yourself and your family that you’d like to share with other scrappers?

I’m turning 32 this coming October. I’m happily married for almost 6 years to an engineer working with Motorola Japan. We are blessed with a sweet li’l girl. She’s almost 3 years old now and enjoys posing for the camera. We are currently living in Tokyo, Japan but originally from Manila, Philippines. Before going to Japan, we were assigned at Bangkok, Thailand where we stayed for more than 3 years. We’ve been to several other places and we enjoyed the variety of cultures we experienced.

When did you start scrapbooking? What first made you interested in scrapbooking?

I did my first page on October 2005. I posted it at the Scrap Girls gallery. I had vivid memories of that day. My dd, who was only 8 months old, was taking a nap and I grabbed the opportunity to take a shot of her foot and tried to scrap it with no digital scrapbook supplies at all. Looking back at it now, I feel like I was a cavewoman at that time, LOL. I started with freebies from SBB and other digital scrapping sites.

My family, especially my daughter, is my inspiration in getting me hooked and keeps me interested in scrapbooking. I always love to write journals and jot down her milestones in life. And of course, who wouldn’t be addicted to take her lovely pictures since she’s sooo into it. She’s a truly great poser ;)

Are you 100% digital or do you use paper as well?

100% digital. But I am thinking of doing some hybrid projects in the future.

Your DST screen name is kewl_jive. Is there any story behind that name, and do you have any other online aliases?

I have been using my screen name since my senior college days. There’s really no big story behind it but I just felt “kewl” (cool) most of the time and I “jive” with most everybody. :)

Where do you get inspiration and ideas for scrapbooking? What inspires you to scrap?

From the pictures that I take. My main subject is my daughter. Everything about her. What she does, what she wishes to express and whatever her mood dictates. It is always about her and our little family’s adventures.

Do you have any favorite books, magazines or websites that are especially helpful? (all links open in a in a new window)

DAM, SS, MM magazines. DST, SBB, MSA, FPD, Scrap Girls, CK, and  2 Peas digi scrapping sites. Photography books as well.

Your scrapbook pages are strikingly beautiful, and convey such great emotion – are there any tips you can share with us about how to create pages like these?

WOW! How sweet of you to say that. :)

I always try to capture raw emotions in my photos. When I convert a picture to b&w, I would like it to express those emotions in a form of a story. I start with placing just the photo(s), title and journaling on a blank paper. I then begin to recall the events at the time of the shoot and select the proper theme for the whole layout. I basically try to keep it simple, crisp and sort of direct to the point, if you know what I mean.

Your photos always look perfect! What type of camera and photo editing software do you use? Do you have any photography secrets you can share with the rest of us?

I use Nikon D70s and I am trying to invest more on new sets of lenses. I use PS CS2 and some photo actions from Nicole Van and other photographers’ as well. I tweak them to suit my taste. I love b&w conversions with a little blue or chocolate color on it.

What favorite scrapbooking tip, trick or technique do you use most often?

I’m not an expert on this but I’ll try to give what works well for me. I hope you’ll find this useful in your work.

Learn how to use your camera and maximize the features that come with it. Try to explore various photo conversion techniques. There are top notch photographers who offer to apply their photo actions on your photos (you need to email them) so you can always try before deciding to buy. I also use Adobe Lightroom for my recent photos. I believe that the photo is the foundation of all good scrapbook pages. You cannot overlook this very important aspect and I believe that if you take care of it, the rest will follow naturally.

I’ve seen a lot of tutorials on shadow works. It gives a great look in a page as well as the proper use of color combinations and elements. I am continuing to learn from other scrappers and I always experiment on new things. I always push myself to come-up with a signature style of my own.

Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us, Beth :)!

Here are a few of Beth’s pages, you can click on them for credit info. It was SO hard to choose just a few, you just HAVE to see the rest: click here to see her gallery!

Never Knew

Popsicle

Lead Me

Little Miss Independent

As promised, here is a list of where you can find more of Beth’s artistry:

Currently working with:

Corina Nielsen
Kim De Smet
Kylie Clark of FPD
Digital Artist Magazine CT
Funky Playground Designs Site CT
Fee Jardine of Sweet Shoppe Designs
Kay Miller of Kay Miller Designs
Traci Reed of Scrapbook Graphics
Annie Manning (Paint the Moon) of The Digishoppe

Guest CTs for the month of October:

O.N. Designs
Emily Merritt at The Digi Chick
Nancy Comelab at The Lily Pad

Published at:
SBB Hot Bytes
Memory Makers
Digital Artist Magazine
Ready Set Create

Upcoming publications:
Scrapbook Trends Magazine (Fast and Fabulous)
Somerset Magazine
Digital Scrapbook Magazine
Creative Techniques Magazine (next summer)

Featured pages at:
The Digi Chick
Scrapbook-Bytes
Memory Makers
Creating Keepsakes
DiscTalkRadio

Challenges at the Meadow!

Just a quick post to let you know that there are TWO fun challenges going on right now at The Meadow (Weeds and Wildflowers Creative Team Blog)! The first one (posted on Monday) is a scraplift challenge  – you get to look through ikscrap’s gallery and choose a layout to “lift” ideas and inspiration from! Here’s the page I did, which is a scraplift of ikscraps’ “Twins“:

*Click here for Credits*

The second one (posted today) is a photography challenge, to share your favorite fall photos – I can’t wait to join in on that one and see everyone’s photos – I LOVE fall photos :).

I hope you get involved in these and future challenges at The Meadow, they will get your creative juices flowing and who knows, you might win a little something from W&W  too :)!

Free Shutterfly Photo Book from Cozi!

**Edited to Add: I heard from Cozi (see comments) - due to an overwhelming response, they have already run out of Shutterfly books - sorry if you didn’t get in on this great deal while it was going on!**


Shutterfly Classic Photo BookYou know I love Shutterfly, so imagine how thrilled I was to find out that I could get a FREE 8.5″ by 11″ Classic Photo Book from Shutterfly, just for signing up for a free account at Cozi! Cozi is this cool site that helps you organize your life – and who doesn’t need help with that – LOL?! 

Now, I know many digi scrappers don’t use the 8.5″ by 11″ size, but I just learned today that you can also print your 8″x8″ (or re-sized 12″x12″) pages in these books – go check this thread on the DigiShop Talk Forums for more info on how to do that! Just another reason I LOVE the DigiShop Talk Forums – I always find out the best info there!! Oh, and that is where I found out about these free books in the first place, in this thread. Even if you’re not a digi scrapper, you can create a beautiful book using free templates from Shutterfly with your digital photos, like in the book shown above.  Wouldn’t these books make a great gift?

If you are wondering about the quality of the Shutterfly books, let me just tell you that I LOVE the book I recently had printed through them! I just got it in the mail a few days ago, and once I take some photos of it I’ll show them to you, so you can see for yourself why I want to make another :)!

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