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Saturday, June 28, 2008

UFO's anyone?

That is, unfinished objects.

I heard the term at CKC Buffalo this year, in reference to the pile of projects most of us have sitting somewhere in our scrap area that probably won't ever make it into albums. Do you have any? I know I do. In fact, I have an entire organizer with 3 drawers of UFO's, even categorized by likelihood that I'll go back and work on them again. Pretty sad eh?

I don't know about you, but I hate leaving things unfinished. It's one more tiny piece of clutter not only in my house but in my mind.

So here are 2 challenges for you. The first one is finish what you start while you have the motivation. Earlier this year I started the huge task of putting together an 8 X 8 Florida album. I chose the paper line, the cardstock, and the general style I wanted the album to be. I printed out pictures in appropriate sizes, and after doing a few pages decided this would be a good project to save for the crop at CKC, since I'd have lots of time to work on it all at once there. But six months after the fact, do you think I could find the motivation to work on it? An entire album, all planned out but not put was overwhelming. Alas, one more UFO for the collection.

My second challenge is to face your UFO's once again and take some decisive action. Look on them with new eyes and get them done. Don't worry if they're not perfect, or up to your current standard. Not every page you make has to be a masterpiece, and trust me--if you finish them, you will feel so much better and be able to move on with a clear mind. And if you have something that is just not going anywhere, don't be afraid to start over, or if you'll pardon the pun, scrap the idea altogether. I'm pretty sure I have a page in my bottom UFO drawer called "Me in 2005"...not much point in re-visiting it now. The idea is to make the decision.

So with these in mind, I made the commitment to first finish all the pages I started at CKC Buffalo this year so they don't wind up as UFO's.
From the class "Scheming Around" at CKC. Cardstock: Bazzill. Paper: Basic Grey. Epoxy: Cloud 9. Letters: Magic Scraps, Pink Paislee.

Then, I re-visited a UFO from over a year ago, back when these Cloud 9 papers were new, and finally put it together.
Paper: Cloud 9. Cardstock: Bazzill. Stamps: Technique Tuesday. Rub-ons: Heidi Grace. Chipboard: Cosmo Cricket.

As for the Florida album...I've scrapped the idea of doing it all at once and am hoping to work on it one page at a time.

Happy Scrapping! 8)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Actions and filters for digital photo editing.

There was a thread started in the forums in regards to "actions" - a series of steps that run for you (almost like a macro) so you don't have to manually adjust your different settings - and I thought I'd share how to get to get the same sort of effects without running an action here!

Since I run Photoshop Elements 5, most actions won't run on my program, but, I can still get cool, action like, results from running my filters! Usually I run a series of filters, each on different layers, adjust the opacity of each layer separately (to my liking) and then merge the layers when I am loving the total photo effect...

OptikVerve Labs has a FABULOUS set of filters that are (get this) FREE! I think they will run in just about any program that has filters too! In the below examples I quickly ran a stock photo through a few filters and then merged them together

Original photo:

first layer filtered with "Fall Colors"

second (middle) layer filtered with "Radiant"

third (top in this case) layer filtered with "B&W"

Before I merged this is what I did:
layer 2 has the opacity lowered to 74 percent and I have removed some of the bright white clouds

layer 3 has the opacity lowered to 70 percent

the merged effect looks like a storm may be headed in... the water is darker and there are dark clouds in the distance...

I did this rather quickly, just to show that if you play with filters and opacity you can create your own really cool effects!


Ok... I admit it... I do have an older version of Photoshop that supports actions, so I will tell you that I do have several loaded in, and I am seriously looking at some other sets... Totally Rad! has some cool actions for purchase - also great examples of what actions can do it one step! Check them out!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Show off your other crafts

How many of us scrapbookers have multiple crafty hobbies? I think many of us enjoy multiple crafts. A lot of people do incorporate other paper crafts into their scrapbooks. I did a layout this winter using ribbon embroidery. I wanted the layout to have a subtle but eye-catching touch, and I decided that this would be the perfect effect. I backed my patterned paper with fabric to give it extra support so it wouldn't tear the paper excessively, although it will still create relatively large holes where the ribbon goes through. The layout reflects celebrating Christmas just before the passing of my mother-in-law.

Do you crochet? You could crochet a flower for your pages, or punch holes along the edge of a piece of card stock and crochet a piece of trim for your page. Or add some Spirelli to your pages; notched paper shapes that are wrapped with thread all around. With experience the designs can become quite complicated, but even a simple design can add a nice touch to the right page. Here’s a blog with an example of the technique. If you have the gift of drawing, what better way to show it off than to incorporate it into your scrapbook pages for future generations to see! Tole painting is another way to incorporate some beautiful art work into your scrapbook pages. If you want to try cross stitching on your page I would suggest planning your pattern first, by creating a template and placing it onto your layout so you can pierce holes for your design ahead of time. Then use a needle with a much smaller head than the traditional cross stitch needle.

Maybe you’re not so crafty; keep your eye out when you are shopping and you might be able to pick up something crafty to incorporate into your pages. Thrift stores and yard sales are usually great place to keep your eye out for these little touches.

Whatever your crafts may be, try to find a way to incorporate them into your scrapbooks. Not only is it a great way to decorate a page, it will also say a lot about yourself, and what you like to do.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Let's Start June with a awesome sketch!!!!

Here is a great sketch by Tina Wilson. She's a friend of see more of her sketches, check out her blog
Sketches are a super starting point...and provide lots of inspiration. You can completly lift the sketch or maybe even just take a few points from it. It's sometimes amazing to see how the layout ends up when you start with a sketch. Sometimes it looks nothing like what you started with.
One thing you should always try to do , is give the sketch artist credit when you use one of their sketches.
Have fun with it, and be sure to post your creation in the Kindred Creations gallery!!!!