Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Unkie



Unkie
  • Font is Westsac
  • Everything from Explore by Jennifer M. Trippetti at Scrap Outside the Box
  • Scraplifted from Mother's Day 2006 by mnm_y2
  • Created for the Weekly Scraplift Challenge with Bannerwoman at Digital Freebies
  • Completed June 23, 2006

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  • Thursday, June 22, 2006

    Erin's Digi-Scrapping Primer

    Okay, this next entry goes out to Cat, who asked in a comment (on my regular blog) about how to get started in digital scrapbooking. Well, I certainly cannot even begin to claim to be an expert, since I am only about 3-4 months into this little escapade myself. But I will be happy to share what I have learned to this point. I will also mention a few things that I wish I had known when I started out. If you aren't really interested in digital scrapping, then you can probably stop reading this entry right now. That is all this post talks about. :-) I promise to get back to non-scrapping topics next time. I'm just excited to share what I have learned with someone who actually asked.

    First and foremost, I have found scrappers to be just as warm and friendly as the stitching community, which is great. They are very helpful, and they offer lots of free stuff!! Which is great when you are just getting started. In fact, several scrappers I know make their layouts using freebies only. They have never purchases a single thing! I went almost 3 months without buying anything. Then my brother gave me some money to spend on "something frivolous for myself," so I purchased some kits. And it has been hard to stop, especially with all of the awesome sales going on recently! LOL Also, if you find a designer you like, be sure you email them and tell them so. You never know what might happen! I complimented one designer on her style, saying how much I liked it since it wasn't frilly and froufrou (I'm not much of a girly-girl) and how difficult it was to find boyish kits (as I have a little boy), and she sent me one of hers for free. Just for emailing her and saying something nice!! I'm not saying this will happen to you, but you just never know. Be nice, be complimentary, be helpful, participate, and good things happen. (I think this also goes by the name of Karma, LOL!)

    The best place to start: visit some of the digital scrapping sites that are around. Just Google "digital scrapbooking" and you'll get a zillion hits, I promise. Most sites have shops, galleries, and forums, and they are a wealth of information. Registration is almost always free, though some sites have special sections just for paying members as well (I belong to two myself) that offer additional downloads and special deals. You can often find links to other sites, which lead to more sites, and off you go. You will find lots of info and tutorials, as well as freebies (or links to them). PSA (Public Service Announcement, a.k.a. begin soapbox): Digital scrapbooking freebies are the same as free downloadable stitching charts as far as copyright info goes. You cannot download a copy for yourself, then give it to someone else. Do not give direct links to the zip file, just send them to the same page you got it from! See this site for details: Stop Digital Piracy (End soapbox.)

    Next is graphics software. If you already have some, then you should be all set. If not, the BBs can give you all kinds of pros and cons on each type. Obviously, people have their favorites, so take some of it with a grain of salt. Read up on each one, do a little research on your own, and see if there is a trial version you can download before you decide. I use Paint Shop Pro (um, version 8, I think), primarily because it came with my computer! And despite a moderate learning curve, I have quickly gotten the hang of it. My mother uses Photoshop Elements 3.0 (actually, she may have 4.0 now; I can't remember), and she likes it fine. I have that as well for some photo manipulation stuff, and I find it insanely frustrating for scrapping, so it really does vary by person what is "best." I would say that these two, plus the full Photoshop (mucho bucks) and Digital Image Pro (by Microsoft, IIRC) are the four most popular ones. DO NOT use Microsoft Paint (comes for free under the accessories menu). It just doesn't have the necessary power and features. While it is certainly possible to scrap using it, I really don't think you will be happy with the end results.

    Once you have graphics software, and lots of available hard drive space, start downloading freebies! For the record, including my purchases, I have over 40GB (that is not a typo, forty gigabytes) of stuff downloaded. Yes, I do need to start culling! May I also recommend at least a CD burner, if not a DVD burner, for backing up all of your files, both your downloads and your layouts. PSA: Always always always leave a comment or reply to say thank you to the person providing the freebie, if it is at all possible. It is just polite. (This is something I didn't even think to do when I first started, and I am so embarrassed about it now!) Stores will often offer "samples" for free, so look under that category. Scrapping blogs are also good places to get freebies. I have links to several of my favorite sites in the sidebar of my scrapping blog, if you are interested. I also try to post any really awesome freebies I run across in my posts, so check the archives. PLEASE NOTE: I am just a happy customer promoting sites and designers and products I personally like and use. I am not on any creative teams, the designers have not asked me to do this, and I do not get any kickbacks. It's just me sharing what I like in the hopes that it helps someone else. (That is the long version of the common stitching BB notation "no affiliation, blah blah." LOL)

    As far as how to organize these things once you have them, I have nothing to recommend! I'm still working on that myself. *Always* keep the terms of use (and read them if you use something from the kit!!), and make sure you know what kit and which designer each and every paper and element came from so you can provide proper credit! It works just like a report you wrote in school. There, you credit each and every book you used for research by title and author. It is the same thing here. Credit each and every piece of any and every kit you used, including where you got it from (though watch out in some of the online galleries at some of the sites; you are not allowed to mention other sites by name, but you should always name the kit and the designer). If you use a photograph that does not belong to you, make sure you have permission to use it (i.e. don't go surfing through Webshots and downloading random pictures; you can email them and ask permission, but if they say no or you don't hear back, you CANNOT use it), and always credit the photographer. This is what I did for my Peepers layout. I emailed Melanie to ask if I could use the photo, and she is credited with taking it.

    Kits come in a variety of styles and colors and such, usually containing some papers and a few elements, such as ribbons, tags, frames, rivets, overlays, photo corners/prongs, etc. Each paper and/or element is usually contained in a separate file. All you then have to do is open your photo and each element you want to use in your graphics software, and layer them, just as you would in traditional scrapping (or so I am told; I have never ever scrapped anything in paper in my entire life!). How this is done varies from program to program, but that is the basic process. Line them all up, resizing if necessary, placing everything where you want it, then "flatten" and save the file into some printable format (usually jpg, sometimes png or tiff). You will want the end file to be big enough that it contains at least 200, but no more than 300, pixels per inch of the printed size you are after. So, if you want the end print to be 4 inches by 6 inches, aim for it to be 1200x1800 pixels when it is finished. (I read this thing four times before I posted it, and still didn't catch the mistake until the next day! I originally had 1200x1600, which would leave you rather short, or with a cropped layout. Sorry! I'm an engineer, and I can do math, really.) You want it to be at least 800x1200 pixels, or you will really start to lose image quality. Prefer to scrap square? An 8x8 printed layout should be 2400x2400 pixels when complete. It is okay to create it larger and shrink it. Do not attempt to create it smaller and then blow it up. You won't be happy with the end result.

    After that, it really is just trial and error, trying new things and learning your software. I do recommend that you learn the following commands, and their keystroke shortcuts: select (especially shapes (if applicable) and magic wand or lasso), copy, paste to new layer, move, resize, crop, shape cutter (if you have one; not all programs do), and text block. I think blend and brushes would also be useful, but I haven't learned those myself yet. Oh, and sign up for newsletters! Sometimes you have to register at the stores for that, but again, registration is almost always free. (You may have to click "log in" at the top of the store page to bring up the registration form.) Just check the newsletter box at the end of the registration form. Newsletters rock, let me tell you. They have great tips and tricks, usually contain freebies, and you'll get notified of any upcoming sales (in case you are in a shopping mood!). If you don't like them, you can always unsubscribe later with no harm done.

    Can't think of what to do or how to arrange things? Uses sketches or scraplift someone else's layout. They are essentially the same thing. A sketch is like a map, indicating where the photos, papers, elements, and journaling (text) should go. Always credit the sketch artist! You didn't come up with the design yourself, so don't take credit for it. Credit the creator with the inspiration. Scraplifting is just taking an actual layout someone else made and copying the basic construction. Again, credit the person you got the idea from! Something like "Scraplifted from *TITLE* by *PERSON*," and provide a link to the original work if you can. I will admit that I have severe trouble trying to come up with a layout design on my own (the exception being my brother's graduation announcement), and my layouts are almost exclusively scraplifts or from sketches. Browse the galleries! There's all kinds of awesome layouts in them. And it is polite to leave a nice comment if you find one you like.

    If you want to stretch your skills and maybe move outside your comfort zone, try some of the challenges offered on the sites. They range from including quotes to sketches to color, and everything in between. I have found them immensely rewarding. I will also admit that I am unlikely to participate just because, or in the hopes of going into a drawing to win a prize. Lots of sites have "participation prizes," so as long as you meet the challenge criteria and upload your qualifying layout to the right gallery (they will tell you which one), you get a little prize. Usually a mini-kit or a paper pack, but it is a great way to build your collection *and* get some layouts done. Online chats and crops also commonly provide freebies for just showing up, so check those out, too. I am just now starting to participate in a few chats, and they are fun.

    Anyway, I hope that helps, if not Cat then someone else. This is also posted on my regular blog, so forgive me if you see it twice. Thanks for letting me ramble on (and on and on) about my new hobby! If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask. Clearly, I don't mind answering, LOL!

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    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Sidebar up and running

    Lots of links and stuff, so if you're trying to find where to get started or "the good stuff," those are some of the places I like. Not all of them, by any means, but some of the prime ones (to me). Enjoy!

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    First Father's Day

    And I don't mean that in the traditional sense. This photo is of DH holding Luke when he was less than an hour old. Literally his very first moments as a father, thus his "first father's day."



    First Father's Day
  • Font is Arial
  • Paper, Ribbon Circle, and Alpha from A Boy's World by Rebecca Digrazio at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • "And" stamp by Gaucho Girl
  • Word art by Cindy Wyckoff
  • Completed June 19, 2006

    Oh, and a quick freebie alert (yes, this is related). Cindy made the word art I used (and slightly recolored) for this layout. If you download it and use it, then go back to her blog and leave a link to the gallery you post it in, you get a free paper pack that is gorgeous! See her blog for details.

    And for the record, any plugs I give anyone are just my own "happy customer" comments. I am not on any creative teams, I get no kickbacks or anything. Just trying to share what I like with anyone who might find it useful.

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  • Saturday, June 17, 2006

    Peepers



    This is a wonderful photo of my friend Melanie's cat Peepers, a black and white cat with the most stunning green eyes. When I saw this picture on her blog, I immediately knew I wanted to try this technique of layering a B&W photo on top of a color one and then erasing the eyes so that the iris color showed through. She kindly allowed me the use of her photo. I love it so much, I may try another layout or two with it in the future. Thank you Melanie!

    Peepers
  • Photo graciously provided by Melanie Simmonds, altered by me
  • Font is Nuncio
  • Gray background paper from Green Elephant by Joana Carvalho at Digital Freebies
  • Green strips (all recolored by me), top to bottom are:
  • From Cafe Society by Tracy Collins at Digital Freebies
  • From Live Your Dreams by Jan Hosford at Digital Freebies
  • From Cafe Society by Tracy Collins at Digital Freebies
  • From Green Elephant by Joana Carvalho at Digital Freebies
  • Alpha from Pistachio Pudding by Joedee Matsler at Elemental Scraps
  • Ribbon and rivets from Boy Collection Friday Freebie by Amanda Rockwell at Digital Freebies
  • Scraplifted from Future Soccer Star by Lela Fleet
  • Created for the Bannerwoman Weekly Challenge, June 2006 Week 3, at Digital Freebies

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  • Friday, June 16, 2006

    Working on my sidebar

    Eventually, I will have a useful sidebar that lists sites I like, scrapping blogs I check, and challenges I like to participate in. But until then, I will take a page out of Kerry's scrapping blog and post good stuff when I find it. And is this one worth it! Lisa Whitney (who also has a new freebie up on her blog) is pointing everyone to a German blog with a bunch of great free paper packs on it. Here is the link. Even though it is in German, it's pretty obvious what to do. Enjoy!

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    Connie and Jaime



    Connie and Jaime
  • Font is Springtime Capitals
  • Everything from Happiness, an Eclectic Bytes CD Release Chat Freebie, at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Black background paper by Jeri Ingalls
  • Yellow flower paper by Alison Folendore
  • Green dotted paper by Helen O'Daniel
  • Aqua dove paper by Carrie Stephens
  • Scalloped ribbon by Zee Helmick
  • Inspriation Sketch 21 by Ginger Thibodeau at R U Square

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  • Luke, Day One



    Luke, Day One
  • Everything from Simple Things, an Eclectic Bytes CD Release Chat Freebie, at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Blue background paper by Trish Jones
  • Darker blue floral paper by Dawn Stocstill (hunibuni)
  • Mottled center paper by Helen O'Daniel
  • Metallic Rivets by Zee Helmick
  • Inspriation Sketch 17 by Ginger Thibodeau at R U Square

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  • Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Ooo, comments! Hi Lisa!

    Well, non-family comments at least. So, Hi Lisa! LOL Lisa asked me what size my Sitting Pretty layout was scrapped. Most of the time, anything of mine that is not scrapped as a square is scrapped to 4x6 inches (1200x1800 pixels). Makes it much more convenient to print and keep in a brag book, and cheaper to boot! The one exception to this rule so far is Mind Meld. It was scrapped at 5x7 (1500x2100 pixels) because the proportions of the cropped photo worked better that way. I may adjust it a bit so that I can print it decently at 4x6, but since it was mainly for a challenge, I didn't mind switching to the 5x7 proportions for design purposes. Thanks for asking! I'm glad someone is reading this besides my family. :-)

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    Outside



    Outside
  • Journaling: "This was Luke's first real chance to play outside. We took him to a local soccer field and just turned him loose. He wasn't quite sure what to do at first, but he got the hang of it. He hated falling down because he didn't like touching the grass with his hands to get up. -October 2005"
  • Font is Stonehenge
  • Everything from Friday Freebie by Amanda Rockwell at Digital Freebies
  • Inspiration sketch by Gina Miller
  • Created for the Subscribers Only Sketch Challenge #14 at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Completed June 14, 2006

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  • Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Sitting Pretty, Take 2



    Sitting Pretty, Take 2
  • Font is Sidhe
  • Papers from Spring Fancy by Tina Dudly, with some slight recoloring by me
  • Ribbon from Candy by Sarah Batdorf at Scrappers Daily Dose
  • Stars from GlitzBytz by shelleyrae at Clik Chic Designs
  • Insiration Sketch #20 by Ginger Thibodeau of R U Square?
  • I didn't really like the layout that resulted from the challenge, so I redid it in my own version, but still basing it on Ginger's sketch as much as possible.
  • Completed June 13, 2006

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  • Sitting Pretty



    Sitting Pretty
  • Font is MA Simple Pleasure
  • Everything from Spring Fancy by Tina Dudly
  • Insiration Sketch #20 by Ginger Thibodeau of R U Square?
  • This photo is of Luke's first time sitting up unassisted.
  • Created for the June 2006 Element Challenge at RAK Scraps. The rules were: if you are using a picture featuring a male...use the color pink and or flowers, your featured picture should be from behind or above or at an angle...try to capture a diff perspective than the usual, and Use circles and rectangles together for your patterns and paper shapes
  • Completed June 13, 2006

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  • Mind Meld



    Mind Meld
  • Tag says: "Mind Meld"
  • Font is Fortunaschwein
  • Everything from Splendor by Rachel Dickson at Scrapdish
  • Scraplifted from Shiloh by chocolatte
  • Created for the Bannerwoman Weekly Scraplift Challenge, June 2006 Week 2, at Digital Freebies
  • Completed June 7, 2006

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  • Eyes All Aglow



    Eyes All Aglow
  • Tag says: "Eyes All Aglow"
  • Font is Flakes
  • Everything from Winter Bliss by Angie Svoboda at Digital Scrapbook Place
  • Created for the May 2006 RAK Newsletter Scraplift Challenge at RAK Scraps
  • Scraplifted from She's SNOW Cute by Ginger T
  • Completed June 4, 2006

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  • Love at First Bite?



    Love at First Bite?
  • Center says: "Love at first bite? NOT!"
  • Everything from Game Day Fun by Misty Cato at Scrap Outside the Box
  • Fonts are Curlz MT and Heatwave
  • Scraplifted from Ummm Ummmm Good!! by opeysmama
  • Created for Bannerwoman's Weekly Scraplift Challenge, June 2006 Week 1, at Digital Freebies
  • Completed June 3, 2006

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  • Dragon*Con 2005



    Dragon*Con 2005
  • Font is Kingthings Kelltika, a free internet download
  • Paper from Blossom by Helen O'Daniel at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Frame from Lily by Carole Neale at DigiScrappin.biz
  • Created as a memento of my local cross stitching group getting to have dinner with two of our favorite designers, Teresa Wentzler and Jennifer Aikman-Smith
  • Completed June 1, 2006

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  • First Shoes



    First Shoes
  • Journaling: "Luke's very first pair of shoes. We waited until he was quite good at walking before investing in these. My husband bought new shoes the same day, and his were only $1 cheaper!"
  • Everything from Tenacity by Misty Cato at Scrap Outside the Box
  • Fonts are Bookman Old Style and Celtic Hand
  • Inspiration Sketch by Gina Miller at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Created for the Subscribers Only Sketch Challenge #13 at Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Completed May 27, 2006

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  • Mom and Este Mom



    My Mom and Her Mom
  • Quote reads: "God's most precious work of art is the grace and love of a mother's heart."
  • Photo by Mark Warren (my father)
  • Font is Festival Flourish
  • All Papers and Elements from the RAK Scraps May 2006 Mega-Kit, specifically:
  • Paper by Mrs.Schmuck
  • Matte paper by Kelley Elizabeth McDonald
  • Stitching by Amy Wolff
  • Stamp and Stars by Cindy Wyckoff
  • Created for the Mother's Day Quote Challenge at RAK Scraps
  • Completed May 24, 2006

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  • Bliss



    Bliss
  • Tag reads: "Fastest Lips in the Renaissance"
  • Font is Cardinal Alternate, a free internet download
  • Get Funky Frame by Carrie Stephens, from FishScraps
  • Paper and Tag from Mon Ami Beau Kit by Zee Helmick, from Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Flower from Rhapsody by Misty Cato, from Scrap Outside The Box
  • Created as a thank you for Valerie Hammond (a kissing wench), who gave me free tickets to the GA Ren Fest
  • Completed May 23, 2006

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  • Slam Dunk



    Slam Dunk
  • Font is Team Spirit
  • Kit is Number One Fan by Staci Schall from The Digi Dreamer
  • Grungy Edge from Edges Pack by Lauren Bavin from Digital Scrapbook Place
  • Basketball Patch (on left) from Basketball is Life by Lady Jane at DigiScrap Central
  • Created for the May 2006 Free Daily Download Challenge at The Digi Dreamer
  • Photos are of Luke enjoying his Christmas gift from his father (the one helping him dunk)
  • Originally completed May 23, 2006, recreated June 3, 2006 due to computer glitch

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  • McKenna



    McKenna
  • Journaling: "Congratulations on the little princess! Happy First Mother's Day, Love Erin, Steve, and Luke"
  • Photos from Erica's Blog
  • Font is ALS Script, a free internet download
  • Everything from April Free {Pea} Digital Kit by Rhonna Farrer, from Two Peas in a Bucket
  • Created as a Happy First Mother's Day/Delayed Baby gift for my friend Erica Gonzales
  • Completed May 1, 2006

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  • Happy Mother's Day 2006



    Mother's Day 2006
  • Journaling: "To Mommy, Happy Mother's Day, Love Luke"
  • Photo by Erin Gaston
  • Font is SNC Script, a free internet download
  • Plopper from Ultimate Family Brag Book by Michelle Rottler, from 1HourScrap
  • Created as an insert for all of my cards for Mother's Day 2006
  • Completed April 26, 2006

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  • Alan and Leslie's Wedding



    Alan and Les's Wedding
  • Journaling: "Leslie Walker and Alan Coleman, United in Marriage, April 1, 2006"
  • Photograph by Rita Warren
  • Font is SNC Script, a free download from the internet
  • Everything from Golden Dreams by Kim Liddiard, from Digital Scrapbooking Place
  • Created as a small gift in honor of my uncle's marriage
  • Completed April 26, 2006

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  • Dr. Warren



    Jacob's Graduation Announcement
  • Journaling: "Dr. Jacob C. Warren, Ph.D. in Epidemiology, University of Miami, May 11, 2006"
  • Photos by Erin Gaston
  • Font is SNC Script, a free internet download
  • Everything (except UM logo) From Gentlemen's Study Add-On by Jade T, from Scrapbook-Bytes
  • Created as a graduation announcement in honor of my brother's graduation from the University of Miami with a PhD in Epidemiology
  • Completed May 22, 2006

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  • Monday, June 12, 2006

    I've changed my mind

    Well, I've tried a zillion different backgrounds here, and even as pale as I can make them, I find them distracting. So I guess we'll go with a solid color, white for now. Not sure if white or black will make the colors "pop" more in the layouts. Guess we'll see. I'm leaning towards just sticking with the white for now. Tinker with the link and header colors a bit, but that's about it. And I really will get a layout or two posted soon, hopefully tonight.

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    Monday, June 05, 2006

    My new scrapping blog

    Wow, I never thought it would come to me creating a separate blog for a hobby, but here I am. In an attempt to prevent my layouts and such from overrunning my regular blog, I'm going to try and run this one as well, merely providing links from my new blog to this one when warranted (except for really important layouts, which will still make an appearance in my regular blog, LOL). We'll see how it goes.

    And don't worry. I *will* be redecorating, and soon! I like the basic structure of this layout, and since I want to showcase the layouts themselves, I don't want to clutter things up. But a little color and/or texture would be nice. We'll see what I come up with. Thanks for looking!

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