Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blending and Beyond

"Blending and Beyond" is the class I will be offering this fall at Getting It Scrapped. I am excited to be working with Debbie Hodge. I will have more details in the weeks ahead but the course will include: basic blending, my "spilling over technique", extractions, layering and blending modes. The course will consist of live webinars in which people will be able to ask questions as they watch my screen as I create pages. If you are interested in joining us, registration will begin at the beginning of September and the class will be starting late September. Once again, I will have more details in the weeks ahead but I am so excited to share my passion for blending photos with you. I hope you can join us this fall for "Blending and Beyond"

I thought I would share with you page that I recently did for the Saturday Scraplift. There is so much inspiration in the gallery at Designer Digitals. I always, always enjoy the work of one of our community members Nana Z. This is a lift of this beautiful page.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

We are headed on vacation and I will not be able to blog for a week. I hope you all have fantastic week and I will look forward to catching up with you when I return.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I do what I do...

I scrapbook a lot. I am constantly sacrificing sleep for scrapbook time because I love it so much. I find it relaxing, I love the creative side of it, it challenges me to learn new things AND it is a great way to preserve our family memories.

Today we went to the beach in the morning and then after lunch I was out mowing the lawn. The kids were inside. I had no clue what they were doing. Ellie came outside to get me and says "Mom, you have to come and see this". I'm usually worried when I hear this statement. She takes me downstairs and I find all of my "paper scrapbooks" spread out across the basement floor. The kids had been going through their scrapbooks. Ellie wanted to show me pictures and quickly asked "do you remember this..." A few minutes later I went back to mowing the lawn with a smile on my face.

A little while later I went in and found them in the same positions except now they were laughing hysterically. Ellie was reading Amelia's baby books to her. I always did a monthly recap for each the first two years of her life. Ellie was reading to Amelia how she liked to put Ellie's underwear on her head and crawl around with it on. They thought it was the funniest thing ever. Honestly I don't remember this but I looked and there were pictures to prove it. I often think of scrapbooking as "my outlet" because it brings me so much joy but it was fun to see today how it brings them joy.

There are so many different ways to scrapbook. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. The most important thing is that you are getting the stories down and passing them on to future generations. My scrapbooking journey has changed a lot over the course of the last 20 years. My style has changed, my approach has changed, my subjects have changed, my life has changed, technology has changed....there have been a ton of changes and yet I am doing the same thing that I did twenty years ago...telling my story.

I thought it would be fun to share with you how my albums have changed over the last seven years. I am a little hesitant to show you because I worry that the "OCD officials" might show up at my door to get me. I certainly wouldn't argue with them. I guess the first step is admitting it.

I wish my albums all looked the same but they don't. The albums in themselves are a representation of the changes that have occurred in my scrapbooking world. Here is a look at the first set of albums for my kids. I have albums before this time period but they are all random albums put together using traditional paper. When Ellie was born, I used all dark blue Close to My Heart albums. I did all double page spreads. She has a significant amount of traditional paper albums. When Amelia was born, I started with green albums and then Quinn arrived and he got a different shade of blue. He only has two traditional paper albums because I went all digital shortly after his arrival. Quinn has more than made up for it in the digital world.

Once I decided to go all digital, I used only Shutterfly albums to document our memories. Each album contained all two page spreads. Each of my kids got about 3 albums a year....some of the layouts would be included in all three of their albums. This was another bonus for the digital world. When I was doing the traditional scrapbooking, I would make the same layout three times. Thank God for digital!

Then I decided that I liked making single pages better than spreads and focused more on the "little stories" of our lives rather than just the big events and holidays. This is where I am today. I use We R Memory Keepers 12 x 12 D Ring Binders and absolutely LOVE them. Each of my kids has their own album(s) and I also have a family album as well as art journal and heritage albums. These need to be labeled...Ellie reminded me again today.

As you can see, my scrapbooking has gone through changes but the idea stays the same. All of these albums contain portions of our story...a story that is worth preserving. I hope that my children and their children will be able to look back and know how we spent our days. It doesn't matter what kind of scrapbook you are creating or even if you are scrapbooking at all. I just think it is important to record the details of life because you are important and you have a story to tell.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two Wheeling

The highlight of our week has been watching Quinn ride on two wheels. He is like a MADMAN on his scooter and I told him that I thought he could probably ride on two wheels because he has such great balance. He told me to take the training wheels off. I rolled him to the end of the driveway and he took off. I didn't have to run or was amazing! He has spent the last three days doing laps in the cul de sac. Let's just say that stopping isn't very smooth (HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT) but we are working on it. Here are some shots from Monday.

Whenever we have a milestone at our house, we treat our dear neighbors to Dairy Queen. Quinn rode to DQ with his helmet on and when we got back, he passed out buster bars.

After the initial few laps, he started working on his speed!

Here is my page:

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I hope you are all having a great week. Thanks for stopping by and take care!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Changing Color - Technique Tuesday

When I am working on a page, I always try to find digital products that will support my photos. The first thing that I look for when choosing my digital papers, is the color. However, I often find myself looking beyond the color to the texture and "feel" of the paper.

When I think about the products that I have available, I think it is important to keep my mind open to all of the possibilities of these products. I love to change colors, blend products, distort them to achieve name it....I like to try it.

I would like to show you some examples of how I manipulate products to fit my vision for a page. This piece of digital paper is by Anna Aspnes. It is from her ArtPlay Palette Seafoam Kit. I LOVE this kit. I started working on some beach pages and I was instantly drawn to the texture of this paper. It felt grainy to me and I thought it would be perfect for my pages. When I started working on my pages, I found that the color was a little off but I still wanted to use it because it contained the texture that set the stage for my pictures.

Because - I used the SeaFoam paper from above for this page. I made a simple adjustment by changing it to black and white (shift-control-u) and then adjusting the levels to fit my photo. I used some blending to make the texture of the paper shine through my photo.

Beach Days - On the page below, I used the exact same paper as my background paper. You can see that this time, I changed the color of it to a sepia tone.

I first made sure that my foreground color was set to the default color of black and my background color was set to white. I then went to "Image"..."Adjustments"...."Hue/Saturation"....checked "Colorize" and played with the sliding scales until I achieved a color that I thought fit with my photos. In this particular case, my numbers were Hue: 45, Saturation: 12, Lightness: 0

Magic -On this page, I blended two digital papers together to get one. Katie Pertiet has a GORGEOUS new kit coming out this weekend called Artistry Azul. This contains my very favorite blues. It might be difficult to see but on this page, I blended two of the papers together. I love all of the papers in this kit but on this page, I wanted a paper with aqua flourishes so I used an aqua color as the base color on the left and then I took a beautiful white paper with blue flourishes and placed it on top of the other paper. I then changed the blending mode of the top paper to Multiply (one of my favorite blending modes) and I was happy with my aqua paper with flourishes.

Green Day - This is a crazy layout that I did for the fun challenge on Kayleigh's blog. On this page, I used a red ketchup bottle from Pattie Knox's cute kit "BBQ Bash Kit" and changed the color five times to make a rainbow of hair coloring products. I was able to do this just by going into "Image"..."Adjustments" and then changing the "Color Balance" by sliding the scales.

The Gang - On this page, I changed the color of the tree. This tree which I have used a lot is from Lynn Grieveson's kit "Gran's Garden". The tree is really pink but I needed it to be green to pop off of my pink background. I took the magic wand tool, tapped on an original pink leaf (I made sure that continguous was not checked because I wanted all of the leaves on the tree to turn tolerance was set at 32 and "anti-alias" was checked). Once I had the marching ants around my desired area, I just filled it in with the color that I wanted.

3- On this page, I just made a minor adjustment on the choo-choo train. In the original train, the highlight colors were red. I needed them to be orange to match the rest of my layout. I used the above technique to change the red on the train to orange so it all flowed together.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

When I am working with products, I always keep in mind how versatile they are. When you think about all of the products that you have and then think about changing their color and texture and so on, the amount of products that you have explodes. There are so many little things you can do that can help maximize the capabilities of your products.

I hope you found this helpful. We are leaving on vacation next weekend. I apologize but there will not be "Technique Tuesday" on August 2nd. It will resume again on August 9th. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Project 365 - Midway

It is hard to believe that we are over half way done with 2011. I keep plugging along with my Project 365. I use this project to keep a photographic journal of how we spend our days. My first round of Project 365 was in 2010. I was really nervous to start this project because I was worried that I would get bored with it. This project has turned out to be such a blessing for me. It has taken the pressure off of having to scrapbook every little event because I still have record of it in my 365 book. Therefore I am free to scrap the photos that I want to scrap. I used a different format this year which seems to be working really well. I'm totally caught up which is a great feeling. In addition to my weekly pages, my album will also include pages of special or fun events that I wanted to highlight. Here are some of my last pages:

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot Summer Days

We have been in a heat wave like much of the country. Temperatures have reached 100 degrees three days this week. I am not a Minnesota girl...I would take 100 degrees for zero degrees any day of the year. I will complain, however that my camera fogs up every time that I take it outside.

We have been busy to say the least. Here is a typical day in our little corner of the world. Today we started with Mia's tennis lessons which are at 8:30 (getting three kids ready and out the door by 8:20 is no small task)...after lessons we played at the park...then came home for reading time...then delivered Meals on Wheels....went out to lunch at Subway...while we were at Subway, we decided that it was such a beautiful day and we really should go to the beach...we go home and get ready for the beach (this process is a lot more complicated than it might sound)...we go to the beach for a few hours...come home and the sweet, little neighbor girl is in her pool so the kids head over there for awhile to play...Jeff comes home from work and we have dinner....after dinner we go for a bike some more and then it is bedtime. They fall asleep immediately and I'm exhausted....this old body can't keep up with them but God knows that I try.

We have been spending most of our days near water and I have an abundance of water pages stirring around in my head. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the last week.

I did do one water layout last night.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Life is great...busy...but oh so great! I am so grateful for these days spent together!

I hope that you are having a wonderful week. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lighting - Technique Tuesday

When I am creating a page, brushwork is always one of the last things that I add. When I look through the online gallery, I really study how people use brushwork. It adds so much to a page.

My favorite type of brushwork would be "Foto Glows" and "Magic Flares" both are created by Anna Aspnes. If you went through my gallery, you would see an abundance of foto glows and flares. My favorites are Foto Glows No. 4 and Magic Flares. I love that they are so easy to use and yet they can make a huge impact on a page.

I'd like to show you some examples of how I use Foto Glows and Magic Flares.


I like to use foto glows and magic flares to draw attention to a particular area of the page. For example if I have a strong photo and the supporting photos are not as crisp, I will use the light that these brushes create to grab the viewer's attention. Here are a few examples:

Here Comes Santa Claus - On this particular page, I used a magic flare to draw the viewer's attention to my favorite photo of "Santa Claus". I think that the flare immediately captures your attention and also adds a feeling of magic to the page...we all know that Santa is magical!

Parading on Main Street - I recently completed my Disneyworld album and I was planning on using a lot of brushwork but then decided that I liked the simple look of a flare behind the title. The flare in this instance is softer because much of it is hidden but it still brings attention to the title portion of the page.


I also like to use foto glows and flares to add depth to a page. Here are some examples:

Together - This is a busy page for me. I loved all of these photos so I really wanted to include all of them. When I had finished with the page, I thought it was WAY too busy. Everything just ran together and my eye had a difficult time focusing on one area. I decided to try a flare behind the photo cluster to "give it a little breathing room" and that made a huge difference to me. I felt like this added depth to the page and made the photo cluster take center stage.

Fly Like a Butterfly - This is an art journal page that I did of my daughter. The page contains the very first photo that was ever taken of her as well as a photo that was more recent. You can see on this page how I used the glow to create a sense of distance in the background paper as if the butterfly is flying away. Just one little click of the mouse and it totally changes the whole feel of the page...I love that.


When I am taking photographs, I am always trying to find the best light for my subject. When I am creating a page, I try to accentuate the light that I have captured in a photograph. You can see in my examples below when there is a beam of natural light on my subject, I will often put a foto glow there to make that beam even stronger.

The Light fo Christmas - You can see on this page that the sun was shining right on my daughter's hair. I think that light played such a significant role in this photo. I decided to enhance the light even more with a flare.

On this Day - Again, you can see that the sun was hitting the top of my son's head so I placed the photo glow appropriately to enhance that aspect of the page.

When I am working with a photo in which the natural lighting is poor, I will often use a foto glow or flare to create a sense of light that will illuminate my subject's face. I will often put the flare opposite of my subject to create this type of look.

Taste of Summer


All products are from Designer Digitals.

I am fairly certain that out of all the fabulous products on my computer, foto glows and magic flares have probably been used more than anything else. I just love the versatility of them. When I am stumped with a page, they seem to be my "go-to" technique because they are simple and add alot to a page. If you haven't given them a try, I hope you consider it. I know you will enjoy playing with them.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!