Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Hello, fellow scrapbooking friends! Lego here, with a blog post for the DIY fans. You might have noticed that I’m rather keen on adjusting material according to my layout needs. And today I’m gonna share another one of my all-time faves with you: paper strips.
Of course, we are lucky to be able to lay our hands on the ones already made. Let’s be honest, these are unbeatable for they are an artist’s job: SP at her best!
But you might want something personalized from time to time. You can then create your own individual word strips. They are oh-so versatile. Especially if you just want to add a few keywords in place of extensive journaling or you need cool captions for your photos.
Today I’m going to show you two possibilities: the BASIC ones and the FANCY ones aka PIMPED BASIC ONES.
Here is my version of making basic word strips.
1. Mark, copy and insert a rectangle (“cmd+j” or “ctrl + j”) from any paper layer you have on your layout, approximately the size you want your word strip to be like. No need for accuracy here.
2. Activate it, by holding “cmd” and clicking the icon in the layer panel. Then press “cmd” + “u” and make it white.
3. Then put a text layer on top and start typing. Adjust font and font size according to your liking.
4. If your strip is too short or too long, too narrow or too wide: no problem! Just pull the strip layer into the shape you want it (“cmd” + “t” is the shortest way for me ;-). Leave the text layer as it is.
5. Add a shadow. You are almost finished!
6. Now save it as a PSD-file. You’ve just created your strip template that is to be used again and again! Open it whenever you want to add one or more strips to your layout.
The fancy ones (= altering the basic strip files):
- Colour it if you don’t want a white strip: in your layer styles, choose “colour overlay” and the colour you want it to be.
- Take a paper instead of the colour overlay: open a paper file and place this layer between the strip and the text layers. Next move your little arrow exactly between these two layers, press the “alt”-key and click. You’ve just married them off – how sweet is that =) – and you got yourself a nice little papered word strip.
- Frame it! Want a white frame around your strip? That’s easy! Look:
1. First duplicate your white strip layer:
2. Change the colour of the upper layer. (e.g. colour overlay or paper overlay)
3. Make the lower layer a little bit bigger. (use transformation tool or “cmd”+ “t”)
4. Add a shadow to the lower strip layer.
5. And you’re done!
And to finish it off, a few more tips:
- Combine all layers involved, or group them. Then drag them on the layout you are working on. (By combining the layers you can move them around, resize them etc. and the proportions will not go woozy.) You may also merge them on one layer, but then you cannot change anything any longer! So for that, you gotta be sure, sure, sure ;-)
- You can duplicate/triplicate… your strip layer groups/combinations, adding more strips to your page. And of course they can then easily being altered: change font, change colour, change text, change shadow, change background… as you wish!
When you have done this a couple of times, you might just get your rectangle from the layout you’re presently working on. No need to open an extra file. But then again, if you want to do more than one, the strip template does come in handy.
- And you can combine your strips with SP’s gorgeous word art, of course!
I’ve just completed my december daily book where I used them on every single page ;-)) You might have noticed … I’ve uploaded quite a few lately. Here is the last one: the cover of the book.
The next layout makes use of the word strips with a brainstorming kind of journalling. I just typed all the words that came to my mind when thinking of this fun weekend with friends and used the photo colours for the strip colours and text colors. The little ones had hummus for the first time in their lives and just loved it!
I hope you liked this little post of mine. It is my last one. I really enjoyed working on SP’s blog. It has been a thoroughly pleasant and wonderful experience being in this with these super-special teammates. Now I can’t wait to see what the others will come up with! Don’t forget to come round here again tomorrow for Shabby Princess herself will be back with the Project Scrap December edition. Don’t miss it!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Hello everyone!! Aubrey here and I hope this find everyone in a happy holiday mood! This is such a crazy time with all of the events and programs and gift buying and everything else that it is hard sometimes to remember to slow down for a moment and take it all in. I have a hard time with that, but that is why we take lots and lots of pictures so we can go back and smile while remembering the good times we had!
Today I am here with a Tips and Tricks and a bit more of a serious one at that. It has to do with preserving our pictures forever without risk of losing them. I am actually writing this because of a very recent and painful experience. Several years ago our laptop died on us and we lost all of our info on it, including a lot of pictures. Luckily we had most of our pictures on CDs. We decided to get an external hard drive for safety sake. Well…and here comes the painful part…I was not so smart and ended up keeping everything on that including around 10,000 pictures (all of them since we have had digital cameras), all family videos, ALL of my digital scrapbooking stuff (kits, pages, EVERYTHING!), and much more. Lately I have had the feeling that we needed to back it up and put it into “outer space” as my mom puts it (online), but we have had a crazy fall with a wedding, 3 birthdays, 4 trips out of town, church stuff, and so much more so I kind of put it in the back of my mind. Well, 2 weeks ago we were at my in-laws and the hard drive dropped. It stopped working. No matter our efforts and other’s efforts we couldn’t fix it: the hard drive is what is damaged. We lost everything on there. It took me 3 days to come out of the depression I felt from that and then decided I would write my post on this very thing to keep other people from this same loss. It hurts a lot!
So why write all of that above? So you know that it can happen at any time and it is really best to act sooner than later! So…onto my tips.
My husband and I while talking about this decided that 2 or 3 storage areas are ideal. There are so many options out there: your computer, external hard drive, CDs, online storage facilities, photo printing facilities, and many more. I don’t know about you, but my computer storage is just never big enough so it just houses our software programs. External hard drives are great because they act like your computer’s hard drive and easily accessible, but as shown above are not a fool proof solution and need to be backed up continually. CDs…well, with trying to back up 10,000 picture onto discs that could potentially get damaged easily, it’s not a good solution and definitely not permanent. I would suggest that after your computer and any other external source to have an online spot where you download all of your pictures and other files.
There are many different options out there. Let’s start with online photo storage facilities where you can possibly print off your photos. Once they are downloaded they will always be there (unless otherwise stated). These are free, but may be limited in space and you will only have pictures. Plus, to download high res photos takes a LOT of time! Options like this include:
There are also a ton of online storage facilities that have different features at different prices. These are more like your computer’s hard drive. Here are just a few examples I found when researching. (Please note that offers/prices may differ depending on when you might happen to look them up):
- Dropbox: It starts off free for 2 GB of space and after that is $9.99 for 100 GB and goes up from there
- Livedrive: $7.95 per month for unlimited space, it backs up your files as you work on them, and you can view your files anywhere (including smart phones and devices)
- Carbonite: $59 a year, it backs up your files continually as long as you are connected to the internet, and you can view your files anywhere (including smart phones and devices)
- MediaFire: Free for up to 50 GB of storage space (with limitations) and starts at $1.50 per month, you can have access anywhere
There are a TON more, but that would make for a very long post! Lol! Different features work better for different people so do your homework and see which one out there works best for you! All I did was Google ‘online digital storage sites’ and came up with tons of different options. A lot of them even offer a trial version so you can try it out for free.
Gotta love the digital age, but you need to back everything up for the “just in case” moments in life! Sorry for the not-so-exciting post, but I felt it was necessary to save someone else from the same heartache!
Thanks for checking in with the blog today, Casharina will be with your tomorrow with a seasonal photography post! :o)
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Got a rectangle frame, but want a square one? Or the other way around? Or you have smaller pictures and bigger pictures and want them in the same kind of frame, without the shrinking proportions when downsizing? Lego here, with a blog post on individualization!
I asked myself: why not customize frames according to my needs? And so I did. And I did it again and again. After saving newly-created frame variations (as png-files), I can now reuse them over and over again. :-)
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Making things SMALLER:
- Mark a part of the frame and with “cmd/ctrl + j” it’s moved to a new layer in the very same position.
- After selecting the new layer use the arrow keys to move it until it looks like a square. (Using the arrow keys helps be more precise than by just dragging it.)
- Activate the eraser (often with a soft or fuzzy edge) and reduce its opacity to about 15 %. Then erase on the upper layer partially, just to avoid any straight/clear cutting edges.
Finally, merge the two layers and voilà here’s your new frame in the desired dimensions:
P.S. At times, the eraser step can be left out. Just check, if there are any cutting lines that would be visible. If not, just merge, no erasing necessary. Like I did here:
Making things BIGGER is also possible, it’s a bit more tricky. Technically only a bit, for it’s basically the same thing as making things smaller but you have to insert one step (between step 2 and 3):
- Activate the lower layer and erase the corner.
I use this technique with lots of frames and other items as you see below. And believe me, there are way more possibilities!
And here’s the whole process in pictures, meaning step-by-step PS screenshots.
1. Open your file. I chose the 4 hearts with the intention to crop them to 3.
2. Select the part you want to cut.
3. Move the selected part to a new layer, where it’s placed in its original position. The shortest way for this is for a MAC “cmd+ j” and for a PC “ctrl+j”.
5. Since I want to make three out of four heart, I move my new layer (the upper one!) to the right.
6. Here it might help to use another colour for the layer beneath, so you see the edges clearly. (You can do this easily in the layer styles: colour overlay. This way you can get rid of it quickly as well.) Quite often, this step is not necessary though.
7. Once you’ve arrived at the “ desired destination” with your upper layer, erase the parts of the lower layer (in flashing red) that you won’t need any longer.
8. Now throw away the colour overlay: just drag the layer style into the little bin.
9. For the fine-tuning, use a soft-edged eraser brush on the top layer. Use a big one with an opacity of about 15 % and get rid of the sharp edge between the two layers.
10. Once you are happy with the result, merge the two layers.
11. You’re done!
Believe me, you do this three or four times and you get the hang of it. It doesn’t take me longer then a few minutes now. So the effort is really worth it.
Imagine, the banner could be as long as your kids’ names … and their proportions would be exactly the same whether you had 4 or 8 letters. Oh… I love this!
I’d like to conclude this post with a layout I did recently. It contains a frame that I divided. You can find the original in the lovely Giggle Box Kit. (One of my all time faves!)
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Kylie will bring us the newest template challenge. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful opportunity to use one tiny individualized item on it? Oh, I just can’t wait to see what you make of this and hopefully you share your creations with us soon.
If you wonder about the excited tone in my voice it’s because of St. Nicolas, who Paulina will meet for the first time this evening. It is different than the American Santa Claus – not only because of the date. In Austria he would often visit a family home and talks to the kids in person – one after the other – about their behaviour by describing specific events in their lives (like that they should not spit out their granny’s spinach like he/she did last Sunday or they should not hide their daddy’s car keys beneath the cat’s box etc.) After enduring the wait and slight fear of what Mr. Nikolo might tell you, the kids then get a small present, oranges, nuts, some chocolate…. The magic about this is that a “real” man in red and white is actually standing in front of you speaking of things he could not possibly know! I guess I was way in my teens when I found out that he had this knowledge because of prior parents’ briefings. LOL. Can’t wait to scrap this event tomorrow … man, it’s so exciting!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Hello Shabby Shoppe readers! Rosy, here today to discuss memory keeping systems!
We’re approaching the end of another year and if you’re like me, this is a good time to take a look at the way you organize your scrapping and see if there is something that you’d like to change as you start a new year.
At the beginning of the year Kim did an awesome post on her top 10 list for organized memory keeping. Her advice to set aside certain times to sort through pictures and pick what will go in your scrapbook is one that has greatly improved my own system. If you haven’t read that post yet, I’d encourage you to do so! Today we’re going to focus more on what we do with our layouts after they have been scrapped.
I asked the rest of the Shabby Artist team some questions about their own system, and hopefully as we go through some of their answers you may glean some new tips and ideas of your own. (or simply be encouraged that we aren’t all super organized, either!)
First of all I asked them …
Casharina I have been doing my best to scrap pictures in order just so that I can keep track of what has/hasn’t been scrapped.
Amber It’s SO random! When I started scrapbooking, my oldest was 7 years old. If I did all my pictures chronologically, I think I’d still be trying to scrap 2003′s pictures. I have to take the pictures/memories that I love the most- and I suppose remember the best- and scrap those.
Kim I scrap chronologically. This is probably because #1 I am one of those super organized people who couldn’t do it any other way – lol!! And #2, my goal is to have a yearly family book printed, so it does make sense to scrap the year from start to finish. And #3, this way I don’t forget about pictures.
There are times that I just feel like doing another one-off page for some reason, and it’s usually just to enjoy the art of scrapping or express something important to me at the time. Those pages don’t necessarily fit into my normal books. They’re just for fun.
Aubrey I usually try to stay within the same year that I am finishing for printing, but I do not scrapbook those chronologically. I go by what tickles my fancy to do or whatever sparks my creativity at the moment.
The reason I asked this question first, is because I think the way you scrap will determine the way that you will want to print or vice versa. If you are like Amber with many years of photos that you want to scrap, but are not planning on printing them in yearly books, then random is great. If you think of your memories in terms of when they happened and would like to have them printed that way, then chronologically will probably work best for you.
I personally, am much more motivated to scrap recent photos than older ones, so I’ve developed my system with that in mind.
It has been very helpful for me to go through my pictures monthly and decide which ones I will scrap and whether they will have their own page or go on the month’s Project Scrap spread and copy them into folders accordingly. I don’t have to scrap them in any exact order, because it’s already been planned where that particular page will go in my book, but I am usually scrapping June photos in July, July photos in August, etc… I always name the page files with the date yyyymmdd in front of the title, so that they are automatically arranged in order in my folder. If the page is about a subject and doesn’t necessarily have a date, I just make one up according to where I want it to be.
Casharina I tried once to create separate albums for each kid, but most of the time my pages are about both of the kids. So instead of separating out the pages, I’ve developed one folder and I name the pages like this: 11/24/2012 Khylea Jumping in the leaves. This will allow me to go back and separate the pages later if I decide to do separate books for each one.
Amber I have folders for each of my children and me and my husband. My plan is to first get each person’s pages done, and then printed in a book. So, sometime, when I actually get done, I hope to have a book for each child.
Emily My children have their own 0-1 baby book. Once a kid turned one, all layouts regardless of subject/person were put in the family album for that year. Now that my oldest is graduating from high school, she is picking out the layouts she would like compiled in her own “life album.” I have been digital for only the last four years so this will require some scanning in of older traditional pages. Every once in a while I will make a themed book based on an event or trip and I have those printed in a book, usually 8×8.
Lego I only have one child and will only have one ;-))
I do books per year or better said per half-year of about 110 pages each. (I was a SAHM for two years … soooo much time to scrap) They are in more or less chronological order. The first year I did single pages and really had trouble with finding matching ones when it came to have it printed, so they were not really chronological, for I tried to find coordinating pages. For the second year books I entirely scrapped “two-pagers”. These were not spread sheets, but two layouts that matched. It was a challenge, but I’m really happy with the outcome. The books are still far from coherent, which is more than fine with me, but at least the two pages facing one another match.
This year, since I started working again, I’m planning on doing one more or less “elaborate” page full of scrapbooking fun and the facing page would be very simple with photos and the same background paper. I only do two scrapped pages when I have time. I decided on this because I don’t like getting behind with the pictures. I just don’t like the feeling of “having to do something” when it comes to my hobby!!! So far, it’s working out great.
Lindsay I have gotten only one scrapbooking album finished about a special event. I LOVE that little book, but I have NO family/yearly albums printed (due to my random scrapping style!). I am trying to get a system going to get yearly books done, because one of my favorite things to do as a kid was to look through the family photo albums. I have started making more traditional photo album pages for the photos I don’t want to scrap, with very little embellishment and neutral backgrounds. Then when I put together the yearly book, I can stick in any layouts that I’ve done of fun or special things from during the year, and hopefully they’ll look ok with the more neutral photo album pages.
It looks like most of us scrap somewhat chronologically and print yearly family albums with the occasional baby book, special event, or vacation book added. If scrapping chronologically feels too restricting to you, consider separating your pages by subject instead of date. (example: places we go, things we do, people we love, etc…) or printing them in loose pages and arranging them in traditional albums/binders as they are printed, which brings us to the next question…
Amber Okay, so, I’ve only gotten ONE book printed – it was the Project Scrap 2011. (LOVE it!) I have had a few pages printed, to put in d-ring binders – but, I have to say, after getting that first book printed, I don’t EVER want to do loose pages again!
Kim I print my pages in bound books. I like to do this because I really like the feel of a real book in my hands and they are thinner and lighter than printing pages to put into an album/binder. It’s true that printing books costs a lot, especially as I have gotten pickier about the printing and gone to a better quality printer. But the way I look at it, I’m only printing one book once a year, and that’s my investment in my own work (I get to finally see my layouts printed) and my investment in years of looking at the books.
Emily I save and compile all my layouts until December/January of each year. I end up with a total of about 60 layouts. I create a year album of all the layouts and have it bound and printed as a book. I do not print multiple copies for my children.
Lego No loose pages. I print bound books and so far I only have made one copy for us parents … maybe I should print one for little p. as well?
Lindsay I like books myself, and I will only print one for the family at this point. Too expensive.
Aubrey I print one book per year and it’s a bound book. I do not print multiples for my children because it is just too expensive, and I don’t think they would want to haul around 18 scrapbooks for the rest of their lives! Lol!
I also have done mostly bound books, but I did recently get pages printed for a smaller book that will be for the children. I feel more comfortable letting them look at a book with page protectors and knowing that I can replace individual pages easily if something happens to it. I love the compact bound books, but the quality of the single photographic print is hard to beat!
I love the fact that I can do my yearly albums for myself, knowing that if my children later want their own copy of “their” pages, it will simply be picking them out and reprinting. This is a huge benefit of going digi!
Casharina I would NEVER go back to anything but 12×12…I just LOVE how the pictures look on the page and I love how it really takes me back, it makes a big impression even on my husband who’s not so into scrapping!
Kim 12×12 now, although that’s not what I started with. I use the “standard” scrapbook size because I know I won’t have to change templates and there are more printing options if I need them.
Emily I did my first digital scrapbook in 8×8 because I thought it would be so much more convient and travel friendly. I missed the large format of the 12×12 size though so my second album was 12×12 and I was hooked. I actually went back and printed my first album as 12×12–the beauty of digital! Although the dimensions are still the same as my old traditional albums, the thickness and weight has been reduced drastically and I LOVE them!
Lego In 12×12, but this year’s holiday book and my mum’s anniversary book is quite smaller and I really like their handy size. I thought the images, the scrapbooking etc. would not be as visible or impressive, but I kinda changed my mind. They are really very nice, too!
Lindsay My one and only book is an 8×8. I like it, but I think for the family albums I’m hoping to finish, I want 12×12 so the pictures are easy to see.
Aubrey I always print 12×12. I started as a paper scrapper and I just love the size! I love that I can make my pictures smaller on a page, but they are still very visible when printed. It just makes me happy!
This is where I’m going to be different! I have never printed my digital pages as 12×12, because I just think it’s too big! I rarely get out my 12×12 paper scrapbooks because the books can be awkward to hold (especially with a child on your lap) and they don’t fit on my bookshelf. I love the size of my 10×10 bound books! My only complaint about this size is that not all the companies print them!
Casharina No, I wish! I am still trying to finish up the end of my last year album. I used the project scrap pages and inserted them between the everyday layouts so that it split up the months.
Kim The one “special” project I’d like to do is a book with some highlights of my growing up years and some memories from my older family members. Realistically though, this is not at the top of my list of things to do!
Emily I just started going through my own childhood pictures (I don’t have very many) and started scanning them in. I already did one layout about my first Christmas in 1977. My second oldest daughter is actually earning money towards a One Direction concert ticket by scanning in all my wedding photographs. This will be my next album project.
Aubrey Every once in a while I do scrapbook a separate book from our family book for a special occasion. Right now I am working on vacation my husband and I took together for our 10th anniversary
I love hearing what others are working on and you can add me to the list of “I want to scrap my childhood pictures” ladies! Someday I will start the organizing and scanning process, but for right now, I’m happy to be caught up with my current scrapping.
Casharina So far it’s okay, I just wish I was more apt about getting them put together for the books.
I think I’m going to start collecting my pages in each “book” and placing them on a CD or flash drive, something, to keep IN the book, for future use. That way if later down the road I need a page, or someone needs one I can just get that cd out and have the file!
Amber I like having each person have their own folders for pictures and finished pages. I suppose the only thing I don’t like about it all is the fact that I waited so long to start scrapbooking. Now there’s SO many to get done; it’s daunting at times!
Kim It’s been a work in progress. I like having my PS (project scrap) pages be a recap of each month. Then after a month’s PS pages, I put in the “extra” pages for that month. This is working really well for me right now, so I’d say I like it. The PS pages give me a chance to include some “random” moments and journal about our month, which captures things that might not make it into pages any other way. For now, I plan to continue the yearly family books.
The one thing I’d add to this is that in order for me to scrap all the pictures I want to include, I do try to be realistic about it. Not every page has to be the “work of art” that takes hours. I have pages I’ve spent more time on and pages that are much simpler. A simple collage template with a few embellishments is sometimes the best way to wrap up a month of pages without being stressed about it :)
Lego I like my one-or-two-page policy.
I wish I had a better way to remember what scrapbooking items I already have so I would use them more often.
Aubrey I like that I print each year together, complete with everyone’s birthdays and special occasions to everyday moments. The only thing I would change is uploading my pages as soon as they are done to the site I will be printing them at.
I am liking my way of organizing my pages, but sometimes wonder if I would like my yearly album printed as loose pages. I’ve never done this, and at this point I don’t know of any company that makes 10×10 binders and page protectors. I think I would worry less about the expense of adding more pages to my already large book, but I’m not sure that I’d be willing to give up the pretty bound books either.
My advice is do what makes you happy!
This is what Kylie says. I have NO system! LOL!! The only pages I’ve ever had printed was my Project Scrap 2011 album. All my other pages scrapped sit on my computer. I do plan to have them printed into keepsake albums for my nieces and my mum at some stage…just putting it off. I scrap a little differently to most. I guess I’m 90% scrapper, 10% memory-keeper…I wish it was the other way round though. Everyone is different, hey?!
Yes, everyone is different! and there are no scrapping police! To some people, enjoying the art of scrapbooking and viewing their work digitally is just fine. To others who are more like me, having the printed pages that you’ve created in your hands is the ultimate motivation to keep on creating!
Thanks for sticking with me and I hope this post can give you some ideas for what kind of system will make you happy! Check-in with lego tomorrow for an awesome tips & tricks post.
Inspiration, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Hi there! Amber here again – this time to share a couple tips that I always use in my layouts! I want to teach you a bit about LINES! Lines? Yes, I know. :0) Lines are simple, yet they can have a profound influence on a layout!
Take DIAGONAL and CURVED lines for example – they suggest movement and energy. These lines are GREAT for layouts with busy kids or when you need a sense of movement. Take this layout for example. I needed to make it look like Christopher was flying like Super Hero’s with capes are supposed to. ;0) So, I used straight and curved papers positioned at an angle to help with that.
With HORIZONTAL lines, you get a sense of calm, or rest. I suppose with this next layout, it’s the simplicity of the design, and the horizontal lines that give this effect – and I LOVE it! :0)
And, with VERTICAL lines, they portray strength and structure – like pillars in architecture. So, with this layout, vertical lines are PERFECT- as these two are both such great strengths to me! Can I tell you how much I LOVE them?! It’s my Dad and my niece, both of whom have battled- and survived! – cancer, at great odds, mind you.
So, you can use lines for the papers in your layout – but, how about how you position your embellishments? Do your embellishments draw your eye to your subject – or away? This is one of the things I remember most from when my sister was teaching me about scrapbooking. Turning that tag, or that star, or that bow – anything that has a point or corner – toward your picture will draw your eye where you want the focus to be. Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to get every point in that direction – so, just choose the important ones. :0) The effect is very subtle – but, it can make quite a bit of difference!
And, here’s some examples of what I mean! :0)
So, there ya have it! I think I just gave you 99% of the tips I have for scrapbooking! :0) All in one post! :0) A lot of the stuff I know about scrapping and using Photoshop, I’ve learned from the Shabby Artists – both past and present. I hope I’ve taught you a bit… it’s been great fun! I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have to share some of the things I know with you via the Shabby Shoppe Blog! I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving - I suppose even those who aren’t in the U.S.! ;0) I LOVE Thanksgiving! Take loads of pictures to fill your November Project Scrap 2012 Templates – which Kylie will be sharing tomorrow on the Blog! SO excited!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized