Saturday, April 30, 2011

Playing with Color - Digital U

The other day I was watching my kids color the big rocks around our house with sidewalk chalk...they did try to color the birch tree but that didn't work so well. They would bring out a different color for each rock to see how it looked. As I watched them, it dawned on me that I do the exact same thing in Photoshop. When I am working in Photoshop, I feel like a little kid as I try different things and experiment with all of the tools that are in front. Thankfully the computer is a whole lot cleaner than sidewalk chalk.

When I am creating a page, I really enjoy playing with the colors of a photo. The colors of an image make such a huge impact in the overall feel of the page. Anna Aspnes just came out with this beautiful new kit called ArtPlay Palette Special One. I couldn't wait to start playing with it. After I positioned everything the way that I wanted, I started playing with the colors of the photo.

In the first image, I kept the color in the photo. I love the colors of the photo but I felt like the colors were too strong for Anna's soft color palette. I then tried changing the image to black and white (shift, control, U)... I usually adjust levels when I do this as well but you get the idea. When I made this adjustment, I felt like the photo got lost on the page.
I then used a combination to create this look. There are many ways to achieve this type of coloring in a photo. On this particular page, I used a very simple method. I duplicated the original photo. I positioned one photo on top of the other in the layers palette. On the top photo, I changed it to black and white (shift, control, "U") and then lowered the opacity of that layer which allowed some of the color from the lower photo to shine through. It is such a simple technique but it can be so effective. I liked this layout the best because there was a little "pop" to the picture but it stayed true to Anna's beautiful, soft color palette.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I hope you found this helpful. I am always trying to find simple techniques to share with you, if you have any topic ideas, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Masterful Scrapbook Designs

Scrapbooking and preserving family memories has always been one of my passions in life. I fun so much fulfillment photographing and recording the details of our lives. One of the most wonderful aspects of being involved with an online community of people who "get me" is that I get to share this passion with others. I've always been intrigued by the idea of teaching others about scrapbooking.

Well, I'm excited to tell you that I was asked to be a guest teacher for the month of June at Masterful Scrapbook Designs. Masterful Scrapbook Designs is a web-based seminar created by Debbie Hodge from Getting It Scrapped. Each month they have four guest teachers (2 paper scrapbookers and 2 digital scrapbookers) share information about a given topic. The other guest teachers for June will be Katrina Kennedy, Karen Grunberg, and Dina Wakley. The topic for June is photos. We will be sharing information about everything from taking photos to placing them on the page. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I'm sure I will have more to say about this closer to June but just wanted to share the news with you. The month of May will also be featuring four very talented people includinig Kayleigh Wiles and Amy Mallory. You might want to check it out. I know that I certainly will.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I hope everybody had a wonderful weekend. We celebrated Easter with our family and it was such a fun day. Sometimes holidays can be stressful especially with little kids because there is so much anticipation and everybody is on overload. I can honestly say that this was the best Easter I have ever had. Everybody was happy and excited....we just enjoyed our time together. The weather was gorgeous which certainly hasn't been the case around here. We went to Jeff's parents house in the afternoon and it was sooo nice. Jacquie and Bob and the girls were there and our kids just LOVE to spend time with them. They played all afternoon and it was so relaxing. We thank God for ALL of the blessings in our lives.

It has become a family tradition to get a family photo on each holiday. I use the self-timer and we just have fun with it....sometimes I get a good shot and sometimes I don't. I'm just happy to have these photos that show how we have grown from holiday to holiday.
The Easter Bunny hid the eggs outside this year I'm assuming because the weather cooperated. Ellie was confused when she came downstairs on Easter morning because there weren't any eggs around the house. After thinking about the situation, she declared that the Easter Bunny must have been sick. Then she looked out back and was thrilled to see eggs all over the woods.

Amelia and our beautiful niece Clare. These two are inseperable when they get together. Amelia is five months older than Clare.


My favorite photo from the day...there is a whole story behind this photo if you are interested in reading it.

I just did a spread on the egg hunt:

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I hope you are all doing well....have a fantastic day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Anna Aspnes Blog

Anna Aspnes is one of my favorite designers. She is one of the most inspiring people that I know and has taken scrapbooking to a whole new level of creativity. Her ArtPlay Palettes are among my most favorite products in the store. I have received a number of messages from people who might be initially intimitidated by her product line and ask me how to use it effectively. I always suggest that they just play. Anna makes creating art both easy and fun.

She is starting a new series on her blog about her ArtPlay Palettes and how to use them. If you haven't checked out Anna's blog, I think you will enjoy it.

Happy Good Friday

The week has flown by once again and I can't believe that we are already looking at the end of April. The weather hasn't been all that great around here but we have still been able to get outside a little bit here and there. Our scooters are certainly in full motion. The kids are off of school today which happen to be my favorite days. I think we are going to head to church this morning and then maybe swimming or skating this afternoon.

I have been busy scrapbooking a lot. There are always so many wonderful new products that come to the store and I am like a kid in the candy store...I just can't wait to get my hands on them. Here are some pages that I have created over the last couple of weeks...

All product are from Designer Digitals.

I want to wish each of you a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Life Around Here

Here are a few pictures of what life looks like around here this week.

We enjoyed a pancake dinner with the McDonald family on Sunday night...delicious!

Ellie loves to pick out library books at school for Quinn and is always excited to read them to him when she gets home from school...

A special Easter package came from the farm....thank you Cheryl and Jerry! It was obviously a hit!

Mia is sporting some new wheels...

April 20, 2011....woke up to this...the poor tulips...will it EVER end? Ellie asked if we would soon have another Christmas...

Hope you have an awesome day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ice Show

Last summer, Amelia told me that she wanted to take ice skating lessons. She started taking lessons in October. She had never been on the ice before and to be honest, she couldn't even stand up during the first lesson. She informed me a couple of weeks later, that she wanted to be in the ice show. That is so like her. When she wants to do something, she is bound and determined to do it. She has taken lessons since October and has LOVED every minute on the ice. It has been amazing to watch her gain confidence with each lesson and to see how excited she gets to skate. We have been at the ice rink all week it seems. Today was the ice show which included two performances. She was dressed as Minnie Mouse and skated to "It's a Small World". It was precious. She was so proud to be a part of all of it and the older girls were soooo good to her. I was impressed with everbody involved in the show...they were so kind and there were so many talented skaters out there. It was fun to watch them and it was fun for Amelia to see how hard they worked and how their hard work payed off. At any rate, it was a fabulous and exhausting day. We are so proud of Amelia and hope that if this is something she enjoys, she will continue to work hard at it. Here are some shots of the day....I need to say that taking photos in an ice arena is NOT easy so please forgive the quality of the images.
I wonder if this is how Nancy Kerrigan spent her time waiting for her turn on the ice...

Amelia was so blessed to have so many of her friends and family show up to watch her. Here she is with are dear neighbor Jan. I hope everybody is having a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We had a really nice weekend. The weather finally warmed up and it felt so great to be outside again. Quinn has been sick with pneumonia but it doesn't seem to be slowing him down a bit. The kids were full steam ahead all weekend. It was also a productive weekend around the house with some much needed spring cleaning and Jeff got the trampoline out so there were a few happy kids around our house.
Every project needs a foreman so Quinn was in charge of the directions...he obviously takes after his dad on this matter.
Here is a shot of the crew in action...this is called "fried egg" and Quinn has to bounce them as high as he can...
Some of the neighbor kids...we are sooo lucky to live on a cul de sac!!!

The crew in action

I hope everybody had a great weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Including Handwriting on a Scrapbook Page

In terms of traditional paper scrapping vs. digital scrapping, the ONLY advantage I can see to paper scrapbooking is the idea that you can easily include handwriting. I have a thing for handwriting. I think it makes everything so much more personal. My mom's letters and her recipes are among my most treasured items....her handwriting brings me a sense of peace. Again, I must emphasize that as far as I'm concerned that is THE ONLY advantage to paper scrapbooking and there are certainly ways of getting around it in the digital world. I know that it is possible to have your handwriting made into a font. I have been meaning to do this and need to get on the ball. It will be interesting to see because I have been told that I have pretty "unique" handwriting. I don't know that I necessarily want my handwriting on my pages but I think down the road, my children will probably appreciate it just like I feel about my mom's handwriting. Last week I was working on a heritage page for my husband's great grandfather. He was a very successful doctor and I came across a note he had written to his daughter (my husband's grandmother) on one of the medical journals in which he had been published. Upon finding his handwriting, I instantly felt like I knew this man. His writing is on the bottom of the page. Tonight I was working on a page about how much Ellie loves to write stories. I thought it would be fun to include part of the story on the page. She was embarrassed to have it on there but I think down the road, she will enjoy seeing how she wrote in first grade.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

It is easy to include something handwritten on a digital page. I just open the document that contains the handwriting. I use the magic wand tool. I have "anti-alias" checked and "continguous" is NOT checked. I tap on the writing. It will bring up marching ants. I then switch over to the "move tool" (arrow) and drag it onto my page. I position it where I want to to be and then click on my blending modes in my layers palette. My second favorite blending mode is "multiply" and that is what I am using here (Hard Light is my favorite but I'll save that for another day). It allows the background to erase and makes the text appear as though it was written on the digital scrapbook paper. I adjust the opacity to my liking and that is it. Simple. Let's just say that I'm a HUGE fan of blending modes!

I just can't say enough about digital scrapbooking...there are so many tools to play with and the possibilities are endless.

I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend!