Oct 25, 2009

Scrapbook Process: Fall is in the Air -- Even in Texas!

Our whole family went to the Sweetberry Farms near Marble Falls, TX for an annual "harvesting." We had a great time -- it was a chilly and cloudy day -- but ideal for photos!
The zinnia field was absolutely gorgeous -- you could pick a huge bunch for only $1.00! These are some of the layouts I completed from a challenge in my "Crop N Chat" group on CafeMom. New favorites for me!
I particularly like this layout -- it's so important to highlight the grandmas! I almost went with black and white or sepia toned photos, but then decided to take my color cues from the photos instead. I even was able to use up scraps with my square border:

Oct 6, 2009

Scrapbook Process: Finding the Scrapping "Mojo"

Ever have those days when you want to scrap, but just can't get the inspiration? I have those days too, and sometimes it's just a day or so, or a couple weeks. However, I have found some ways that help get your "scrappin' mojo" going:

  • Search the internet for scrapbook blogs that update regularly. Subscribe to their feed so that you get new creations almost daily in your email box. Looking at what they are doing will often inspire you. Some of my faves are listed in the right margin! ------>
  • Join a scrapping group. CafeMom, Ning, Facebook and other networking sites have groups with activity in which to participate and new friends to keep you motivated. Also check YouTube for numerous craft videos by some real energetic crafters!
  • Clean your scrapping area. By reorganizing or straightening your space, you will often start the excitement when you again see a new stamp you had purchased, papers you forgot you had or other goodies in your stash. Add any finished pages to your photo albums too.
  • Go through your photos. If you have taken several photos lately that need to be filed, or edited on your computer, now is the time to sit and do them. For editing, choose a couple select photos, make copies and then use one of your software programs to try something different: black and white, sepia, borders, color tinting, etc. Having a unique photo can create that spark of creativity for a new page.
  • Look for new sketches. Many times, I let my photos dictate my layout, but other times, I just need help! There are many free sketches online at scrapbooking sites or blogs. Pagemaps is a great one, with new ideas each month.
  • Go shopping. Yes, if you have a little extra spending money this week, go to your favorite craft store and choose ONE new item that will jog an idea. (Don't overdo your shopping, or you'll overwhelm yourself when you need to find your jumpstart!) Stores like Archivers are great about displaying all the newly released products and plenty of ideas for those products (including workshops!) to teach new techniques.
  • Try a different media or page size. Always a 12x12 scrapbooker? Try making cards, an altered item and especially, a different size page. Use stamps if you don't normally use them. If you subscribe to new blogs or check YouTube, you'll glean new enthusiasm.
  • Do a different type of page. If you always do your pages by chronological events, devote your next pages to purely a specific subject. What about pages about you? Journal thoughts, ideas, dreams, things in your past.
  • Finally, don't push it. After all, this is our hobby, and sometimes a break is a good time to allow experiences to happen that will encourage us to scrap and to journal about.

Sep 15, 2009

Scrapbook Process: The Key is in the Toolbox

Couldn't wait to do a layout for our new home! We had been looking and saving and debating for almost two years until the dream finally came true last August!

For this layout, I wanted to include a wonderful stamped image I received from a Crop N Chat girlfriend (see bottom right corner) and use items that I already had without buying anything except for the title images. I went through my stash and found a matching frame and then rummaged in my toolbox (not a scrapping toolbox -- the one where my hammer is!) and found an old key ring and some little luggage keys. I thought the keys made a subtle, but fun addition to the page.

So don't pass up a look in the toolbox for scrapping inspiration!

Mar 10, 2009

Photo Focus: Try it in Black and White

Close up photos (or portraits) are great for scrapping. However, have you tried using a photo in black and white? I have started doing some of my portrait shots in black and white, and it really give a new look to a scrapbook page. Here is an example.

This is Matt, my "tweenager". He will sometimes let me snap a photo -- so I take advantage of it. Here is the photo in color:

While this is a great close-up, I edited it to black and white:

There is much more focus on his face, instead of the background. The sunlight also gives great highlights, without doing any other adjustment.

This black and white technique was done using Windows Photo Gallery. First, make a copy of your photo. With the copy, simply choose "Fix", then "Adjust Color." Slide the Saturation tool all the way to the left, then save. That's it. There are other programs where you can fine tune black and white photos, but if you are a beginner, this is the simplest and quickest way to go.

Mar 3, 2009

Scrapbook Process: Showcase Your Child's Artwork

My youngest son, Josh, is in Kindergarten this year, and you know what that means -- lots of artwork comes home! Unfortunately, I really do not have the space to keep everything he will bring home during the year, so I found another solution. I found an inexpensive spiral scrapbook that is 10" x 7". (It already had the opening for a photo.) I used paper and sticker stripes to decorate the cover from the bland brown it was originally:

I started with a cover page inside:

Dedication page:

then took photos of his large artwork and created pages for each month when they were created. Here are a couple months in his book:

page 2 from November:

When I started the project, I precut the photo mats and the paper for each page. I have the next couple months ready, so all I have to do is choose the paper and start adhering.