Friday, March 30, 2012

New Look

Hello.  Yes, it is still me but you may have noticed a few changes around here.  I decided that I was ready for a fresh new look including a new name for my blog...passion2pixels.  I liked my old blog name "Celebrate the Journey" but I felt like it was too general for me.  I tried to really find something that "fit" me a little better.  I decided on the word "passion" because I really think it describes me.  I love life and I am passionate about everything that I am involved in.  As you probably know by now one of my many passions is creating digital images.  I love to take my passion for life and transfer it into pixels on my computer "passion2pixels" it is. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog.  I started blogging a couple of years ago mostly to share pictures of my kids with our family.  About a year ago, I decided that I wanted to use it as a means of sharing my passion for scrapbooking with others.  I really didn't know if anybody was going to read it but I decided to start writing and see what happens.  I really enjoy blogging and I'm always trying to figure out new topics to write about.  If you have any topic ideas, I would love to hear them. 

I am excited to tell you that my new class that will start in May will go on sale in the next couple of days so check back here for all of the details.  I'm excited to share them with you.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Eagles

Last week, I shared with you a site that my friend Sue had passed onto me. The site can be found here. When I posted last week, I was so intrigued by these two beautiful bald eagles that took turns laying on their three eggs. Well, I will admit that these eagles have me totally captivated. Two of the babies have hatched and I cannot believe what I am seeing as I watch how the mother and father care for their young. They are so gentle and tender. It has been simply amazing! Here is a video of the dad feeding the first baby for the first time. The second baby had just hatched. I'm hoping that the third baby comes on Thursday.

I sit in awe as I watch this. It all seems so simple and so natural. I can't help but think of my own experience in parenting. I have an undergraduate degree in child psychology, a masters degree in adolescent counseling, read a good share of books on parenting and I still don't even come close to having any of this "parenting" thing down. Then I watch these eagles and it all seems simple. Love your babies...take care of your babies....protect your babies and the rest all falls into place.

It has been so refreshing to see the beauty of life through these bald eagles. If you haven't taken a peek yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random Inspiration Challenge - Silhouettes

I have been throwing around the idea of starting a challenge for awhile and thought I would just go for it and see what happens. I always enjoy a good challenge. It forces me to approach a project in a different way and I always learn something new when I do this.

I find inspiration for pages everywhere that I look. I came across this image and immediately thought this would be a great image to put out there for a challenge. I love to use a silhouette for a number of reasons. The first being that it is bold and immediately grabs the viewer's attention. You can also create any type of background you want to go with it because you are not tied to a color scheme. And finally you can save a very poor photo by changing the subject into a silhouette.

This is a photo that I love taken of my children and nieces on Thanksgiving night. The quality of the image is not there but if you look beyond that at the shape of their bodies together....well, I just think it is so sweet.

This is the page that I created for it to start out the challenge.

How do you make a silhouette?

1) Open your image

2) Select your magnetic lasso tool and start slowly moving it around your subject

3) When the marching ants encircle your subject, you can enter a feather radius value of 3 pixels to soften the edges (In PS, this can be found under Select...Modify and in Elements this can be found under Select)

4) Select Inverse (under Select on the top menu bar) and delete the rest of your photo so you have an extraction

5) Activate the marching ants around your extraction and create a new layer above it.

6) Fill the extraction with black.

7) If you would like to clean up your silhouette a bit just use a small black paint brush and an eraser.

I've used silhouettes a number of times and thought I would share some other pages with you.

This page I created for Pattie Knox's Art Journaling Class several years ago which was awesome. I think Pattie is going to bring this series back to Creative Passion which will be fabulous.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

When you are looking for an image to use with a silhouette, really focus on what the outside lines of the image tell you without the inside details. I really think you will like this technique. I would love to see what you do with silhouettes. If you decide to do this challenge, please put the url address of your page in the comment section of this post for my blog. I don't want to miss it! Have fun creating! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March Pages

I hope you had a great weekend. The weather is wonderful here and we are still so tickled to be able to be spending so much time outside. The weekend included Jeff putting up the trampoline for the kids, Ellie got a new bike, playdates, ice skating, biking, yard work and a bon fire. It was a great weekend.

I thought I would share some pages that I created in March.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bald Eagles

We have these BEAUTIFUL bald eagles that come to our woods just behind our house every winter. It is amazing. As I sit at my computer, I can look up and there they are. It is amazing. I am totally in love with those birds. They only stayed for about 10 days this year although my neighbor told me that he just saw them on the backside of the woods the other they are still around....just on another branch. They have become like part of our family. I created this page of them last week.

My dear friend Sue emailed me the other day because she had seen my page and shared a site with me that I have to post here. There is a webcam in a tree just above an eagles nest and you can watch the eagles. It is awesome and the best part is that the eagles have 3 eggs that they are laying on and they are about to hatch any day. We have become fascinated with the eagles and check on them many times throughout the day. I just had to share this link with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Thanks Sue for sending this my way!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From the Top Down

I thought it would be kind of fun to show you how I create a layout from the top down. I created this layout using Lynn Grieveson's beautiful new kit called "April Morning" which will be on sale this Saturday at Designer Digitals.

When I am desiging a page, I always start with the photo and then build my page underneath it. Figuring out the design of my page is my favorite aspect of creating. I just love the challenge of it and trying to think of new ways to present my images. I always want the photos to be the most important aspect of the page and then I just build a backdrop to support that. This is where I started with this page. I knew that I wanted to use Lynn's new kit as my backdrop. I selected a white frame to make the photo come off of the paper a bit more.

Then I wanted to bring a little bit more color into the page which I accomplished with the second background paper as well as the second frame. I decided to use a torn edge to bring some ruggedness and texture to my page.

Then I added my cluster. I like to use clusters to give the page more interest as well as to help the eye move around the page. This cluster includes some floral brushwork, a flower, a bow and some leaves.

Then I added my titlework.

I really like to frame my is just part of my style. It feels more complete to me and it allows me to bring in more color. This is where I ended up with this page.

It is a very simple page. I have found that finding my "system" has really helped speed up my entire process. It is almost like reading the recipe card. I know that I start with the photo and then just add little bits to it until it seems finished. For some reason, I enjoy my approach on the computer a lot more than my approach in the kitchen!

A complete list of the products used on this page can be found here.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Staying on top of Project 2012

I scrapbook a lot. I will admit it. It is my way of unwinding at the end of a busy day but I have not been scrapbooking as much as I usually do. There just seems to be a lot that I need to get done after the kids go to bed and the scrapbooking time hasn't been there lately. I feel like I'm so far behind with scrapbooking already this year and yet, this Project is what is saving me. I've stayed on top of it and it feels so good to have so much documented. These pages come together so quickly. When life isn't as crazy, I will pull these pages and create individual pages for my children's album as well as our family album. The journaling is there and my favorite photos from the event are there. That is another beauty of digital scrapbooking. It can be as easy or as involved as you want to make it. Right now....I'm going for simple but later on down the road, the photos and the journaling will probably be found on a different type of page when I have more time to enjoy the creative process. I've been creating about five spreads a week. I'm really wishing I would have adopted this approach when I first came to digital. I feel like I am recording so much of our lives and that is a great thing! Here is a look at the last couple of weeks.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A New Concept in Photography

When my kids were smaller, I used to love to take them into a photography studio several times a year. I loved having some formal shots of them taken however I always wanted to have ALL of the images on a disk so that I could play with them in Photoshop. Well, let's just say the disks were not cheap. Then I started trying to "make" my own studio in our home using white or black sheets. It worked alright but our home has very poor lighting so the images were never as crisp as I wanted them. Well, today I found a new solution. I had heard about this studio that you could rent. You could either bring in your own photographer or take the pictures yourself. I have been wanting to try it for some time and today was the day.

My girls are in an ice show coming up and they got their costumes which I think are adorable. I wanted to get some shots of them in their costumes and this was the perfect excuse to give the studio a try. The studio is called "UClick" and it costs $35 per hour. They have a natural light studio or a formal studio. I of course wanted the natural light studio. It is also loaded with backdrops and props. When I called to set up our appointment a few weeks ago, I talked to the owner. She said "I'm not a photographer, I'm just a mom who liked to have my children's pictures taken in a formal setting and I was sick of paying a lot of money for the proofs when I could have taken them myself". I immediately liked this lady because she took the words right out of my mouth.

We had a GREAT experience and I will be doing this again. For $35.00, I got a ton of pictures and was thrilled with the outcome. Here are the girls in their costumes. The costumes are designed for the 70's and they will be skating to "the Monkey's" theme song.

Well, if I had the studio for a whole know I was taking full advantage so Q was in on the action as well.

I really like the whole concept of it. I thought it was a great price for what I was able to get out of it. I guess they are booking three weeks out on the weekends which leads me to believe that there are others who clearly see the advantages of this method.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Creative Passion Blog

The Creative Passion blog is now up and running. We are excited to have another avenue to share informatin with all of you. I got to write a little bit about my creative journey. You can check it out here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This and That

Spring has arrived early this year and it has been such a gift. March usually yields the most snow in Minnesota but temperatures are supposed to get to 70 degrees this week which is unheard for this time of year. I will certainly take it! I have a few different things that I wanted to share with you.

Persnickety Prints Sale. I have all my individual pages printed at Persnickety Prints and I CANNOT imagine going anywhere else. The quality of the images is incredible and the customer service is top-notch as well. I strongly encourage you to check it out. I know I will be taking advantage of this.

Masterful Scrapbook Designs - I am excited to share with you that I get the privilege of teaching at Masterful Scrapbook Designs in May. Debbie has such a great program going there. She invites guest teachers in each month to share their work and talk about their creative process. It is so fun and inspiring. The topic for May is "Portraits, Moments, Lists & 365ers (Scrapbooking when there is no big and obvious story). I have been busy getting ready for this.

Digital U - We just had our second webinar for Digital U. I have so much fun doing these with Amy Kingsford and Pattie Knox. This webinar focused on quick photo fixes. Amy showed how to remove marks from someone's face, Pattie showed how to fix pet eye issues and I shared how to fix lighting. If you have registered for Digital U the recording will be available later today. If you haven't registered, I encourage you to do is free and it is fun! Our next Digital U will be on Thursday, April 12th at 9:00 pm EST. I hope to see you there.

Maple Syrup - Last year our good friend asked if he could tap the maple trees in our backyard. We collected the syrup and he boiled it down. We clearly got the better end of that deal. It was such a fun learning experience for all of us. We tapped our trees again this week and they are doing great. Our friend is concerned that the warm temperatures are going to impact our production but so far so good.

New Car- We have THE BEST neighbors in the world. This is Fritz. He owns the Goodyear tire store in town and let's just say that his garage is the kids most favorite place to hangout. He is soooo awesome with them and teaches them all kinds of things. I'll just say that if I have a flat tire on the side of the highway, I think I would stay in the car and let the kids change it for me. I'd have no clue and they would be all over it. Last fall Fritz bought a few of these....I'll call them "mac daddy race cars". Let's just say that you don't buy them at Target and they are SUPER fast. He has been soooo good about letting our kids play with them and there is frequently an Indy 500 race in our cul de sac. Well, we bought one for our family this weekend although it is pretty much Q's. It has been so much fun for all of us! The entire weekend was spent watching the cars race around the cul de sac.

It has been such a treat getting outside again. I hope the weather forecast is right. It is so refreshing to get some fresh air once again.

I hope you have a great day. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Creative Composites

Creative Composites is my second class in my blending series. It is designed for people who have completed Blending and Beyond. In this course, I cover color enhancements, layering of blending modes, creating motion, sequencing of photos, filters and adding artistry to the page. In addition to the six videos, there will also be two webinars. If you are interested in taking your blending skills to the next level, this course if for you. Creative Composites will run from April 9 - May 14. It will not be offered again in 2012 so if you are interested in taking this, I would register soon. You can register here.

These are the pages that I will be demonstrating during Creative Composites...

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Adding Video to Your Scrapbook

I enjoy ALL types of memory keeping. I used to take all of our videos and put them together with music every six months. It was incredibly time consuming but we love looking back on those videos. We just watched the one from Quinn's first six months the other night and laughed through the whole thing. They are such a great way to document real life. I have let those slide in the last two years because I have been so involved in digital scrapbooking and they are so time consuming. I would love to get caught back up one day.

At any rate, I always thought it would be so cool to be able to incorporate live video in a scrapbook. It would be the best of both worlds. Somebody posted this link in the forum at Designer Digitals and it stopped and made me think some more about the possiblities for this. Many of you know about Project Life that was introduced by Becky Higgins who I would say was one of the most influential people in my style of scrapbooking. I love her style....clean lines, great designs and getting the story on paper. So many people around the world have embarked on Project Life and found something that fit for them. A way to document everyday life that people can keep up with. This video that was shared shows how somebody loaded their videos from their trip to Disneyworld to youtube and then placed the bar codes in their project life album. As this person turned to a page, she could sit with her phone, scan the bar code from her album and immediately see footage of that moment on her phone. I think it is a fascinating idea and who knows where this is going to end up. There is a whole lot of potential there and certainly something to think about.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Digital U

I am excited to tell you that our next session of Digital U is quickly approaching. It is scheduled for Sunday, March 11th at 9:00 EST. Our topic this month is "Quick Photo Fixes". Amy Kingsford, Pattie Knox and I will all be sharing a favorite technique that we use to fix our photos. I am really looking forward to it!

If you are not familiar with Digital U, I just want to mention once again that it is completely free. You just need to register for Digital U at Creative Passion. Once you are registered, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the live webinars. I need to mention that we only have 100 spots in each webinar and I'll just say that we are getting very close to that for Sunday's session. If you are interested in attending, please head on over and register.

If you haven't attended a webinar before, I encourage you to give it a try. The recording of the last webinar "Title Time" is available at Creative Passion. The webinar is structured so that you can take a peek at Amy, Pattie and my computer screens as we explain something about our topic. If you have questions, you just type them into your computer and we work them in as we go. I'll just say that Amy and Pattie are a TON of fun and I had a great time during our first session. I hope you can join us.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project 2012

The last couple of weeks have been very busy. I feel like I have been putting together all kinds of spreads for my 2012 album. It feels so refreshing to put each page together because I know that information is recorded somewhere and I can always come back to it. This week I decided to take some pictures of the kids rooms because I know they are not always going to look like this (I am hoping anyways...the girls room makes me break out in a sweat because it is always so messy). Here is the page for the girls....

I cannot believe that we are already on Week 10. It has been so fun to see how everybody is keeping up with their weekly pages.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Thanks for stopping by!