Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Get those KIDS Scrapping!!!

Have you ever been scrapping on your computer and one of your kids asks what you are doing? I have, and it got me thinking about my layouts. They are pages I make to tell my version of the story, but what if my kids had some pages they created with their version of the story? Scrapping with your kids is a little different, and requires a little pre-planning, time, patience, and maybe a yummy snack!!! When my son, Shayne, asked me about scrapping recently, I decided it was a great time for me to make a page with him helping out. Here is a recap of what we did, how we created our page, and some ideas for other layouts!

We sat down and I started pretty slowly. I showed him a group of pictures that I was going to use in the layout, the kit I thought would work with the photos, and some extras for ideas. We selected the background paper, and then the photos. They were of his graduation from Pre-Kindergarten in June, and he loved talking about all the kids in his class, and his favorite teachers. We decided on 2 pictures of him and his friend Carlie. She was in school with him since they were infants and had lived a couple houses away, but recently moved away. I found some frames that we could use and cropped and placed the pictures on the page. After the pictures and background paper were in place, I wanted to move on with all the embellishments. I was using Chelle's Creations "Back 2 School" for the page. Shayne said he really liked the crayons, the chalkboard, the ruler, and the apple. He also picked out a couple of ribbons, and asked about some stars. I started putting the elements on the page and, as I put things on the page, I chatted with him about his school friends. I found some stars, clipped papers to them, and moved them on to the page. Shayne was smiling…actually, beaming!

Our next step was working on the journaling. Since this was our first page together, I wrote a little something, but promised him he could tell me what to type next time. We used the chalk alphabet from the kit and made the title up, 2010 Graduates, and found a great chalk font to use for the journaling. Next, he saw the asterisks in the kit and wanted to add them to the layout. I added them, and the page was complete. I showed him the finished page, and printed it out 8 x 8 so he could see it and show Carlie when we would see them over the weekend! He was so excited, and so proud of his choices. It was fun to see him excited about scrapbooking and hear him explain it to his brother and my husband!

After all was said and done, I did go back and do some tweaking: fixed some typo's, shadows and placement, but otherwise I loved the page that we created together! I realized what I could do differently the next time and how I can help him be even more involved. I also thought about ways to help my younger son, Colin, who is 2, be involved in a page. Here are some ideas that may help you get your kids involved, or creating, with you.

Credits: All by Chelle's Creations
Back 2 School: http://shop.scrapmatters.com/product...cat=207&page=3
Round The Block: http://shop.scrapmatters.com/round-the-block.html
Doodley-Do Combination: http://shop.scrapmatters.com/doodley-do-combo.html
Font - Chalkduster

Little Ones - get younger kids involved by having them:
-Choose colors, background papers, and order of layers
-Pick out the embellishments - stars, circles, ribbon, flowers, etc.
-Have them draw a picture, scan it in and make a page of their drawing. Consider writing their word-for-word description or story about the picture, complete with mispronunciations!
-Create an A-B-C book, a 1-2-3 book, or a Color book - use their choices (a is for alligator, or is it for airplane? Depends on the child!). 

School Age Kids - get bigger kids involved by having them:
-Choose the photos to scrap. 
-Select the kit(s) to use with the photos. 
-Pick out embellishments and fonts - mix and match from a variety of kits.
-Work on their computer/mouse skills by placing papers or embellishments.
-Create an embellishment of their own to add on after printing, or scan one in.
-Journal with more details. 
-Use their own handwriting for the journaling, or print the page, and write the journaling on a paper strip to add onto the page. 

Teens - get teens involved by having them:
-Practice more in-depth computer skills. 
-Learn additional software functions and tricks.
-Design entire layouts. 
-Select and experiment with photo treatments. 
-Journaling - and add meaningful quotes, lyrics, or poems. 

Ideas for Pages
Favorite Stories/Books, Colors, Numbers, Stuffed Animals, TV Show, Songs, or Movies.
School Happenings, Projects, Reports, Grades (Good and Bad), Dances, Sports Games, and Classes.
Friends and Family, Brothers, Sisters, Extended Family, BFFs, and Pets.
Holidays and Birthdays
About Them - Top 5's, Chores, Routine, Thoughts, Good vs. Bad, Fears, Dreams

Scrapbooking with kids is a way for you to document the everyday happenings, lives, and thoughts of your children. The photos and stories will often be shared with family and friends, but you also shared the moment of making of the page with your child. When Shayne actually had his page, he wanted to run and show off what he helped create. It is another outlet of creativity that he can share with others! All ages can get involved and learn that sharing our stories now and doing it together will be a lot of fun. We might just become a little closer while creating! And as an added benefit, scrapbooking with kids gets them involved and possibly happier when you want to take "just a couple more" pictures!

One more time-saving tidbit…
For many people, there are more than one child in the family. I always want to create pages for both of my kids. After you and one of your kids create a page -- "Recycle The Page". When you make a page with one child, duplicate it. Make a few small changes, maybe to the colors, font, title or recoloring of elements, as well as changing out the photo - you can use this page for another child! Family layouts may only need a change in journaling to make it more personal to each child's perspective. Nice and Easy!

This article was created originally by me for the ScrapMatters Newsletter, in the October 2010 edition.  You can sign up: Here!You can get great articles like this one every month!  

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December Goodies! Come take a Peek!

Hi!  Happy Holidays to you and your families!  I'm just popping in to share some of my recent December layouts!  I really, really have to get these all put in a book over the school break, so maybe once I have a book being printed, I can share that link!  

First up is my 2010 Christmas Card!  I just loved it... it took awhile, but I was so happy with it!  My little boys, and me making them giggle so I could get a somewhat decent pic!  It only took me banging a container of M&M's on my head!  Who would have thought!?  I think that someone should have taken a picture of that!

2010 Christmas Card
Supplies Used:  Erica Zane -- A Touch Of Winter(some snowflakes), GG Digital Designs -- Winter WishesFiddle Dee Dee Designs -- Fuss Free: Christmas Greetings and Ali Edwards -- Holiday Word Art.


Supplies Used:  Sugar On Top Collab by Spinky Dink Scraps and Project BBlueprints Set 6 by Studio True Blue, Fine Line Page Titles No. 3 by Katie Pertiet, and the font is CK Smile.

Out on the Town
Night Out Double

Supplies Used:  Winterberry by Jennifer Labre Designs, and the font is Times New Roman.

Thanks for looking and checking out my layouts!  Would love to know what you think?  Trying to improve myself, so Constructive Criticism is welcome!

Have a great day!
Jenn (jk703)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rule of Thirds...

Huh? You say.... lol... Well, I am talking about photos and how you take them!  Just thought I'd share a tip for photography!  Now, I am trying to learn as I go, so I need to practice my own tips as well!  But, through my research, here is what I've found to be useful!

First, let me explain quickly what the Rule of Thirds is.  It is the basic dividing of a photo into thirds...by rows or columns.  Though, in my opinion, it is more of ninths, because there are nine quadrants!!  LOL!  A lot of times when cropping, you will see the grid, like in my picture below:

Those grid lines can change your picture so much!  Right now, I've used the crop tool to crop the photo and place the sun in the center of the picture!  Kinds of looks funny! The Rule of Thirds is a basic assumption that you should place the primary parts or focus on the grid intersections.  I've cropped my photo, and added some red dots to show you how I aligned my photo!  

I actually like the way it cropped.  The boat is off to the side and my sunset with reflections looks nice to the left a bit!  It provide a well balanced, but interesting photo!  Many cameras have a grid function that you can add for your viewfinder (Dslr) or on the Point and Shoot models.  Check your reference manuals!  Here are some more examples from a trip we took to the Florida Keys! On some, you will have to imagine the quadrants, lol!  

Now, remember - this is just a guideline... many times rules are meant to be broken!  Here is an example.  I loved how this picture turned out of my Dad and cousin... with the scenery.  If I moved the photo based on quadrants, it didn't look right!  

Share some of your photos... post a link!  Have fun with your photos and be sure to come back for a visit soon!

I created this original post for Jennifer Fox Designs: HERE!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tutorial: Adding Catchlights!

Hi everyone! I have a great tutorial here to add a little oomph to your pictures before adding them to your layouts! Catchlights are the reflection in the eye of a light source. Catchlights can be from the sky, flash of a camera, even a TV screen; they add depth and dimension to the eyes in any photo. A little bit of glimmer can add so much more and even add a little sensitivity, beauty, life, inner emotion, ormostly in my personal case, mischief! Here is how to add catchlights to a photo:

Step #1: Open your photo. Zoom into a comfortable level to complete the re-touching. Some people like 200%, while I like to be even closer at about 300%.

Step #2: Create a New Layer above your photo by doing the following. Choose Layer; New Layer.

Step #3: Select a small, soft-edged Paintbrush. For my examples I used brushes that were sized between 5 and 18, and with 0% hardness.

Step #4: Set the foreground color to White or if that is too stark for you, try a shade of grey.

Step #5: Lower the Opacity of the brush to 10-20%. I start lower and then I can adjust as I go along.

Step #6: Brush just above and to the left or right of the iris to mimic a catchlight. If there is a small light in the eye in the 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock area of the eye, broaden and lighten that specific spot.

Step #7: This is optional. Create another New Layer. Paint another highlight opposite the main catchlight at reduced Opacity 5% or less, but you can always up the percentage to get your desired look. The second highlight will help reinforce the translucence of the eye. 

Complete the above steps to the other eye.

Some Examples -- with my 2 year old, Colin!




By working on separate layers, you maintain control of both Opacity and Blending modes, as well as preserve your original image since you can always delete the additional layers if you don't like the result.

Experiment with shapes, softness, and opacity. Be subtle. Remember, catchlights come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the shape and size of the light source, and its distance from the subject. There are no hard rules regarding catchlights! They are without a doubt a matter of personal taste and preference. Have fun experimenting with your photos!
You can get great articles like this one every month!  I wrote this one for the ScrapMatters Newsletter, which you can sign up for: Here!

Have a great day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Trimming - Detailed Version!

ETA:  My images are not showing up... They were uploaded to Blogger, and eaten!!  Sorry about that! (Thank you DoggiNo for letting me know!)  I will be working on getting new images up by the end of the week!

Hi Everyone! I've decided to be a little more detailed and picturesque with my trimming tutorial!  Here is a detailed version for Trimming Your Files! Sorry for the double posting of subjects, but I thought this would help out those who needed pictures and more details!  

We all love our digi supplies, right?!? We've got to make sure we are clearing some room on those hard drives so that you can get some more goodies at Chelle's awesome store! I'm sure you are like me, and there is a ton of kits and ellies in your wish lists!

For my examples I used Chelle's Kit, Tell Me More that comes included with her Journaling Class! It is an AWESOME kit, and the Alpha is fantastic! Sign up today! It starts in January 2011!

When you create a layout, many times you place papers, ellies, and all those fun digital supplies on your layout - parts of those items are laying out in the out of bounds area! When you look at your layout, and click to move something, you might see this oversized bounding box:

Little Helper Page 1 and Page 2
Supplies:  Chelle's Creations Tell Me More Kit and Fiddle Dee Dee Designs Don't Box Me In Set #2
This bounding box means that there are items hanging off your page and taking up space! Things that you might not be able to see on your layouts are taking up valuable hard drive space! Here is how we remove and save space:

Choose Select > All.

Once you choose to select All, you will see the marching ants around your layout. It should appear like this on your screen:

Little Helper Page 1 and Page 2
Supplies:  Chelle's Creations Tell Me More Kit and Fiddle Dee Dee Designs Don't Box Me In Set #2

Next, you will choose Image > Crop. Click on this and your layout will be trimmed of all items that you cannot see hanging off your pages, and don't need to keep.

This does not delete hidden layers. Hidden layers can be deleted directly from your layers palette by right clicking on the layer and choosing delete.

Little Helper Page 1 and Page 2
Supplies:  Chelle's Creations Tell Me More Kit and Fiddle Dee Dee Designs Don't Box Me In Set #2

Why is this important to do to each .psd file you might have? Space! A regular single page layout file can be trimmed and save over 10MB of space! That might not be a lot as a layout, but think of that times 10 layouts! 10MB x 10 single layouts = 1 GB of space! Keep doing that and you will allow your computer to be a little more efficient! Plus, the best part is that you get to fill that space with more digital goodies! Woot!

Hope that helps you free up some space! Let me know if you have any questions - would love to know how much you trimmed today!

This more detailed trimming post was created by me for Chelle's Creations recently.
Found Here!  


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking Tips!

Hi everyone!  I'm here to bring a fantastic blog post for today!  Woot!  I am going to introduce you to a few of my MOST favorite tips for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements!

I started my digital scrapping obsession in March of 2010 -- it sure was fast to get hooked on!  I get all the "support" I need from friends out in Digiland... I really think they just feed into my obsession!  I have at least managed to get one of my close friends into this hobby!  

Linda is now just as obsessed as I am!  As I showed her around our wonderful community, I also shared a few of my tips with her!  She has a graphic arts background, so some were just a re-iteration of what she knew too!  I thought I would share them with you... so here goes!  Enjoy!

Tip #1:  Save, Save and then Save Again!
I have been the victim of layout theft!  Theft from my software freezing, my husband closing photoshop or just me clicking in the wrong spot -- which means that I lost all my hard work!  Then to start over again, and try to get back to where I was is hard to do!  So Save, Save, and Save Again!

Tip #2:  Learn the Scrapbooking Lingo...
Bouncing around in this community and trying to understand all the acronyms, and word of digital scrapping can be daunting! I personally have a stamping and paper scrapbooking history, so I was already lucky to know most of the terms!  Linda and I would chat about our scrapping, and we wouldn't understand each other... we were using different terms!  We would end up in a fit of giggles!  Here are a list of terms that I hear daily:

.PNG Portable Network Graphics
This is the most common high quality file format used to save digital scrapbooking elements requiring transparency.

This is the file format for Adobe PhotoShop and PhotoShop Elements. Retains layer and image information that is not transferable between other applications.

.PSP Paint Shop Pro
Default  file format for JASC Paint Shop Pro. Retains layer and image information that is not transferable between other applications.

To create a layout that is inspired from, identical to, or very similar in style and/or content, to a layout created by another person. Scraplifting is generally considered as permissible as long as credit is given to the original creator.

R.A.K  Random Act of Kindness.
To create a layout as an unexpected gift for another person.

Refers to any individual decorative digital objects that may be used in a layout. Ribbon, Wire, Buttons, Beads, etc.

In terms of graphic software a brush is a tool that allows you to create a wide variety of effects. It is similar to a stamp or painting tool that allows you to stamp/paint with images. These images can be of varying color, size, transparency and more.

In image-editing software, a constituent part of an image that can be manipulated independently of other parts.

A function within select software that allows you to change how your image is seen -- it edits the image to only a part of the image. A mask can have a hard or soft edge, as well as duplicating textures and  allowing you to achieve so many effects.

Tip #3:  Trimming your files!
As you are working on your layouts, you drag and drop papers and elements and place them just so on your pages, right!? Many times you leave things hanging off your pages... the paper only covers half of that 12 x 12 layout your working on... and the other is hanging out, in that unseen out of bounds area.   You can't see it right... so how does it affect you???  It takes up that valuable, MOST VALUABLE, space on your hard drive!  That is space that you could be filling up with more goodies!!!!  What are we waiting for... lets clean up!

When you are done with a page, this is what you do before you press the save button!  Up in the Menubar, there is the tab called Select.  Click on this, and choose All from that drop down menu.  You should see the marching ants roaming around your square 12 x 12 edge.  Next, you will go back to the Menubar, and choose Image, and then click on Crop.  This quick and easy step allows you to trim away all that unseen, space hogging digital imagery.  By completing this step, you can really reduce your file size.  I have gone back and re-saved some of my earlier files, and have seen over a 10MB reduction!  Just think... 10MB x 10 layouts!  that is almost 1 GB... keep adding that up and you have lots of space to fill with more supplies!!! 

This blog post was originally created by me for Geek Chic Scraps: Here!

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings!  Share a tip you can't live without; I'd love to read them!