Monday, April 30, 2012

Capturing Childhoood

My favorite aspect of photography is trying to capture my kids being kids.  I love just sitting back and watching them explore the world.  The other day Mia, Quinn and I spent the morning at the park. We do this ALOT.  We came home and Mia went on the bus.  I had no intentions of going back to the park but Quinn thought it would be a good idea.  He wanted to go to a different park.  We didn't have anything else going on so I went along with it.  I, of course, grabbed my camera.  When the kids are at the park, I often work on my photography by taking photos of things around the park.  Well, my camera got a workout that afternoon.  In addition to working on some macro shots, I took in every little detail of seeing life through Quinn's eyes that afternoon.  I was thrilled with the photos that I got.  Not one of these photos is staged.  I simply captured Quinn just being Quinn.

We got out of the car, he grabbed a snack and pointed to where he needed to eat his snack.  I thought it was a great choice myself.

 Checking out the water under the bridge and wondering if there are real fish in there...

Can't get to the other side of the pond fast enough.

I was then trying to get some photos of these ducks that were in the pond.  I look up and here he is.  Notice the outhouses in the reflection.  If this was staged, those outhouses would not be there.  I'm pretty sure that when this image makes it onto the page, those outhouses won't be there as well although I do find it kind of funny.

He ran off to the park and I was trying to capture this shot of this dandelion.  I was playing with settings and trying different things.  The next thing I know he is right next to me and trying to figure out what I am doing.

Then he decides that he should fish while I'm "practicing my pictures".

He was explaining some scene in Star Wars to me....he does this alot.  I started doing some Star Wars impersonations which were apparently quite poor because he couldn't stop laughing.

I think sometimes we put too much thought into trying to find the perfect spot or situation to take a photo.  Let your child take the lead and see what happens.  Not once during this little excursion did I say "sit here" or "smile for the camera".  He was having fun being a kid and I was having fun just taking it all in.

I've thought about making a little album for him.  I love these photos so much.  I did make one page that you can see below but I seriously could make a whole series of this little adventure. I'm so far behind with everything so I'm adding that album to my "to do list".

Next time that you are at the park with your child, sit back and let them take the lead.  Childhood is such a beautiful stage...certainly one to be savored.


All products are from Designer Digitals.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Generations - Fall Heritage Class

I have mentioned that I am writing a new heritage class for fall.  I am SO EXCITED about this one.  I love working with family heritage.  I think as scrapbookers, we have such an important role in telling the stories of our lives and the lives of others.  What could possibly be better than sharing the stories from generations that have gone before us and including our own stories along the way.  I seriously get giddy about this.  I have had a number of emails asking me about the class.  As I mentioned I am in the process of writing it but I thought I could shed a little bit more about where this is all headed. 

When I first came to the digital world, one of the first projects I completed was a family heritage album...well, actually, I completed four of them.  Each a little different and tailored to my father, my aunt, my mother-in-law and one for our family.  It was a HUGE project and took my months to complete.  In the end, I was thrilled to have so much information in one album.   This is the cover to our album.  Please keep in mind, I was new to digital and let's just say the whole take on this project would look significantly different today.

Our album was 100 pages and easily could have been 200 pages.  I had to leave out so much information because Shutterfly had a 100 page limit and I knew I wanted it bound.  I didn't find any other options for printing.  The basic information of our family and the generations that have gone before us is in this album but like everything that I do in life...I want it to include more.  Over the last year, I've been itching to redo this album and make it exactly what I want it to be both in my style as well as by including as much information as possible without constraints.  I know there are great places to have huge albums printed and that opens up the possibilities for this album.

I have started reworking this album and it is so much fun.  I know that there are a lot of people out there just like myself who inherited a treasure trove of old photos.  What could be more exciting than getting those photos out of the box and sharing the stories in a complete album that can be passed on from generation to generation?

As I mentioned, I'm in the middle of writing this class and having so much fun with it.  My hope for this class is that it breaks down what might seem like an ENORMOUS project into manageable steps that we can do together.  There is a lot to this class.  I will be covering scanning/organizing photos and memorabilia, quick photo fixes, basic photoshop, special effects, time savers, page design, organizing an album.  As I have been working on this, my mind is racing with ideas because I'm so darn excited!

This is the plan.  The class will go on sale in June.  When people register for the class, there will be an introductory video to help them get started.  The introductory video will help you get started with the process of getting your information out of the box and onto your computer.  I will show you how to scan and organize your valuable material.  There is no denying that there will be a lot of work involved in this class but in the end, I know you will be over-the-moon with what sits in your hands.  And I'm sure future generations will be as well.  My hope is that once you register, watch the video in June, you feel empowered to get busy over the months of June and July scanning and getting everything onto the computer.  When class starts in September, we are going to take that information and run with it.

I am seriously giddy about this class.  I am excited to share my system for creating an album with you and hope that can join me on the ride.  Registration will begin in June. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Scrapbook Pages

Debbie Hodge is a dear friend of mine and a very inspiring individual on a whole bunch of levels.  She is a very talented scrapbooker and just flat out knows how to inspire people to create beautiful and meaningful scrapbook pages.  She has started Get It Scrapped, Masterful Scrapbook Designs and has played a huge role in the success of Creative Passion.   Well, Debbie has something new up her sleeve that I'm very excited about.  She has a new website called "Easy Scrapbook Pages".  You can find it here.  She is sharing pages from various designers and breaking down how to create these pages.  Scrapbooking does not need to be complicated.  In my eyes, the photos and the stories are the most important aspect of the page and everything else is secondary.  I think the designs you will find here will certainly inspire you. 

I recently created this page that Debbie included.  You can see how easy it was to create by clicking on my step-by-step process at Easy Scrapbook Pages.  Each page will also have links to various online articles that can also help you with all different aspects of scrapbooking.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I hope these pages inspire you to get more stories and photos scrapbooked!  I know that I'll be checking in there regularly!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Set Up

The other day we were just hanging out at home and Jeff came up from the basement with one of our old monitors.  I should tell you that my husband is a "techie" and there is no shortage of equipment at our house.   He maintains all of the computers and builds servers for the company that he works for.  He loves working with technology and I would say that there are A LOT of perks to having an IT guy in the house.  I asked him what he was doing and he said "you'll see".  He called me over a little bit later and said "what do you think of this set up".  He had put our old monitor next to my current monitor.  He had Photoshop set up on my regular monitor and ACDSee was open on the old monitor next to it.  As he moved some of my products over from ACDSee on the old monitor to Photoshop on my regular monitor....well, you probably heard the screams!  It is AWESOME and it is so much easier to be able to see all of my products and drag them right over to the other screen without having to flip back and forth.

My husband is clearly in the running for "husband of the year" after this move!  I am so lucky!  If you have an old monitor around, I think you should give a try.  It just simplifies everything.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Skating Show

It was a big weekend around here.  The girls had their ice show.  They were giddy all week and had so much fun on Saturday.   They did a great job and loved being a part of the show!  It was so fun to watch the older girls.  I'm amazed at how they can skate and it is fabulous for the younger ones like Ellie and Mia to see the dedication and work ethic that is involved in skating.  Who knows how long they will be into skating but they sure can't get enough of it right now.  It is so fun for me to see them love something so much.

Here they are before the show.  Let's just say that our dear neighbor got called in to do hair and make-up...I am SO not a girly-girl!  Jan did great!

Lets just say that I am less than thrilled with the photos that I got of them on the ice.  It is so hard.  I tried to get some shots during the dress rehearsal and finally decided it was impossible.  The lighting is terrible, they are all clumped together and I was so far away from them.  The camera didn't even come out of the bag for the two real performances on Saturday which is a first for me. 

I LOVE this shot captured after the show of my dad and Ellie. 

The girls were so lucky to have so many special people in the audience watching.

It was a wonderful week filled with memories. We were at the ice arena every night this week.  Now I need to get caught back up with regular life!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Creating Keepsakes - May/June

The May/June issue of Creating Keepsakes is now out and I was lucky enough to have two spreads in this issue.  It is always a thrill to see my pages in a magazine that I have subscribed to for so many years. 

Here are my pages in this issue.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

All copyrights to Creating Keepsakes.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Words

My kids look at their scrapbooks A LOT.  They love going down memory lane almost as much as I enjoy creating the pages that go inside of these albums.  We certainly do not have a shortage of scrapbooks at our house.  My passion for scrapbooking started with wanting my children to know our stories...the stories that make up our everyday world.    Losing my mother far too early in life reinforced the fact that I'm not going to be around forever to tell these stories and to share my words with them.  Her absence in my life has played a huge role in how I scrapbook.  I truly scrapbook from my heart.  I write to my children as if I am writing a letter to them.  Somebody once asked me why I usually don't include their names in my journaling and I simply said "because I'm writing to them".  I want them to be able to know how I felt about them and the stages that they are in years from now when I am no longer around to tell them. 

The other day we were looking at the scrapbooks again.  I needed a photo for my 365 project and took one quick shot with the self-timer.  I happen to love the photo that I captured.  This is SOOOO us.  As we turn the pages, I often reanalyze the page that I created....the design...the placement of clusters and as I analyze, I hear these words constantly "MOM, READ IT TO US....MOM, READ IT AGAIN".  It is once again a reminder that it isn't the visual aspect of the page that they are interested is my words.  And then I think to myself  "if they treasure these words now....I know they will treasure them years from now".  The letters that I received from my mom while I was at college still remain my most treasured possessions because I can hear her voice.  What voice are you bringing to your pages?  I know that with the next page that I create, I'm going to spend more time journaling and less time creating a cluster.  

Here is the page that I created with this photo.  I'm going to break this page down today in our webinar for Creative Composites.  

My desire to scrapbook started with telling our story.  While telling "our story", I discovered a passion for creating which has grown into so much more.  And as it has grown, my foundation has stayed the same.  I scrapbook because I want my children to know their story, read my words and know how very much they are loved.  That is what it is all about in my eyes.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Creating Keepsakes - Simple Scrapbooks

Last week Creating Keepsakes - Simple Scrapbooks was released.  This is a special issue that is available in bookstores.  Last fall Creating Keepsakes asked me to create a page for this issue.  The challenge that they presented was that I was only allowed FOUR products on my page.  I consider myself a pretty simple/graphic type of scrapper but four products was a whole different deal.  I LOVE challenges and was eager to jump right in.

Here is the page that I created for this issue.  My approach was entirely different and it was so fun.  I love creating with a challenge in mind because it forces me to think of my photos/products and page in a different way.  For this particular challenge, I tried to figure out ways in which I could make the viewer's eye move around the page without having embellishments on it.  I decided to use a curve to accent the focal photo.  I also clustered my photos together and used a simple brush to tie it all together.    Solid cardstock did not count as my four products.  The other four that I used were white frames, polka-dot paper, snowflake brushes (all from Kaite Pertiet) and a second font for my title.  Four adds up pretty quickly. 

I love this issue of Creating Keepsakes.  It is loaded with sketches that are simple and creative.  I've always enjoyed following a sketch.  There are so many other creative ideas in this issue.

I want to encourage you to give this challenge a try.  What can you do with four products?  I know it will get your creativity flowing.  I would love to see what you come up.

All rights reserved to Creating Keepsakes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Designer Digitals Sale

Designer Digitals has a sale going on right now.  All paper packs and templates are 30% off except for new releases are 20% off through April 21st.  I would certainly go and check it out!  You will be happy that you did!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Handmade Titles

We had Digital U tonight and had a ton of fun as always.  This month Michelle Houghton joined us.  She teaches doodling and copic classes at Creative Passion.  She is one talented individual!  This month she created a title for Amy, Pattie and myself.  We were challenged to create a digital page using that title.   Amy and Pattie created gorgeous layouts!  You can check them out in the Digital U gallery.

It was sooo much fun.  I have always been into creating art....long before I discovered Photoshop so this was right up my alley although my "artwork" doesn't come close to Michelle's.  It was so neat to take something that was created with copic markers and include it on my page.  This is the image that Michelle gave me.  Well, that is a little bit of a lie....don't tell my kids.  She gave us an orange and yellow title which was gorgeous and then she said if you need me to change the colors, she could do that easily.   I loved the title she had but wanted to see if she could tweak it a bit to fit with this photo of Mia and her umbrella.  I received an email shortly after containing this title and she had made it to match Mia's pink polka-dot boots.  I don't know if you can see it in the image but the letters have polka-dots as well.  I was so excited to get started.  I extracted the title and it was so fun to create with a different starting point.  Generally the title is one of the last parts of my page.

This is where I ended up....

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I use black a lot on pages.  I certainly wouldn't think of black as a "springy" color.  I like black more or less because of what it does for my other colors.  I think it just makes them come alive.   I think it would be so much fun to create titles like this. 

The next Digital U is in May.  I am taking the lead for May and breaking down one of my layouts in "Anatomy of a Page".  I'm going to go through everything from the inspiration to the actual finished product.  I'm looking forward to it.  If you are interested, head on over to Digital U at Creative Passion and sign up.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 in Motion

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend.  We sure did.  It was an incredibly busy week.  Here are some of my pages for my 2012 album from the last few weeks.  I can't believe that we are already on Week 14.  I seem to be on a blue kick lately.

I just wanted to remind you as well that Creative Composites started today....YEAH!  I'm excited to get back to class after having a couple of weeks off.  This is the last time Creative Composites will run in 2012 so if you are interested, I would head on over to Creative Passion.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you and your family.  I hope your weekend is full of blessings as we celebrate the resurrection of our savior!  We are spending Easter Sunday with Jeff's family and looking forward to a fun day.

We had such a great day yesterday.  We celebrated Good Friday by going to the children's service at church and then we made sandwiches for the homeless.  This is an AWESOME project called 363 in which a retired school teacher delivers thousands of sandwiches every night to people living on the street.  The name of the project comes from the idea that those people are usually fed on Christmas and Easter...what about the other 363 days during the year.  It is an AMAZING project!  In less than an hour, our church made 2500 sandwiches.

After we made sandwiches, we headed to the local park for an Easter Eggstravangza.

The kids were scoping out the map on the scavenger hunt.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Happy Easter!